What to Do With a Timeshare You No Longer Want

The HiltonBuying a timeshare property may have seemed like a good idea when you signed the timeshare contract. But if you're taking yet another "staycation" this summer – and really haven't been able to travel as much as you'd like the rest of the year as well – you may have realized that you aren't truly benefiting from your timeshare purchase.

Some people buy timeshares as potential investments. But that's often an unwise move, since timeshares aren't investments in the traditional sense, and they don't offer the typical benefits that, say, stocks or bonds might, such as price appreciation or dividends.

Many timeshares also don't function as traditional real estate investments either, since most timeshare buyers only own a specific and limited portion of a property for a specific week or month during the year.

That's why most people enter into a timeshare agreement simply to enjoy the privilege of having a vacation home at their disposal. Owning a timeshare, however, comes with a lot of inherent financial risks and may not always be your best economic move – especially in a slow economy.

Fortunately, you do have some options if you've signed a timeshare agreement and want to get out of it.Here's what you can do to get rid of a timeshare you no longer want:

Review your agreement.

You need to determine whether you have a deeded timeshare or a leased timeshare property. A deeded timeshare bounds you to the contract as an exclusive owner, while the leased timeshare means you are only the owner for a set number of years. If you have a deeded timeshare, you have the option to sell it to someone else. If you have a leased timeshare, you may have to keep paying your annual fees until the lease expires.

Consider renting it out.

If you know you aren't going to be using your timeshare for a certain period of time, consider renting it out to somebody as a vacation rental for extended stays. In some cases, the rental fees you earn will be able to cover the annual maintenance fees you must pay on the timeshare. Just remember that, regardless of whether you use the timeshare or rent it to someone else, you'll still be responsible for maintenance costs and other fees as outlined in your initial timeshare agreement.

Check in with the company that manages the property.

Some timeshare companies offer services for those who are interested in selling their timeshare, and they may even help to match you up with an interested party. They may charge a fee for this service – which will come out of the final sale price – but this could be an easier way to get that timeshare sold.

With some timeshares, your annual fees may have escalated to the point where you're not getting much value each year from the timeshare, or you could simply pay to go to another resort and come out cheaper. If high annual fees are the issue, ask your timeshare property management company for permission to deed back your timeshare to the organization. With a "timeshare deedback," you basically agree to give your timeshare back to the resort.

Advertise your timeshare property for sale.

If you are under a deeded timeshare agreement and decide to sell the timeshare on your own, consider posting your property on reputable site like TUG, the Timeshare Users Group.

TUG offers a wealth of practical, consumer-friendly information for both existing timeshare owners and would-be timeshare buyers. Among the features at TUG are a "Timeshare Marketplace" that lets you sell or rent your timeshare free of charge; a wealth of advice articles about timeshare ownership; and an online forum where you can ask timeshare questions and get answers.

Best of all, TUG provides its members with a sales history database, so you can get the most recent, up-to-date information on timeshare sales and properly assess how much your timeshare is worth.

Aside from TUG, you can also place classified ads for your timeshare on sites like Craigslist and eBay.

Never pay an upfront fee.

Be careful about working with certain companies that offer to "help" you sell your timeshare.
Some of them make lots of upfront promises about getting you fast money for your timeshare, but they may charge high listing and sales fees and really not do much more than post Internet advertisements for your timeshare.

Even worse, many timeshare re-sellers will insist that you pay an upfront fee to unload your timeshare. They may call this a "marketing charge" or a "listing fee;" some may claim it's a required cost to do an "appraisal," a "title search" or something else altogether. Whatever the fee is labeled, don't fall for it.

You should never, ever pay an upfront charge to someone to sell your timeshare. It's just asking for financial trouble and the potential loss of your money. In fact, some places asking timeshare sellers to pay upfront fees are outright scams.

Still, because a timeshare-reselling agent acts as a third-party between timeshare owners and sellers, some people think that using a re-seller can speed up the sales process. Recognize that any re-seller will charge a fee for his or her services, and this is typically charged as a percentage of the sale.

Also realize that even if you sign over a power of attorney giving someone else the right to sell a timeshare on your behalf, you nonetheless remain the legal owner of the timeshare and are financially responsible for it until the timeshare actually sells.

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Autumn Morgan


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October 10 2014 at 12:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Allan Winnett

The resale market for timeshares isn't there, moneyupfront to sell one will always be a scam and these scams make it so much harder for legit companies trying to help people out of these things such as the company I have the privilege to work along side because when we call these owners to help all they hear is timeshare and its immediately defense and we can't help as many people as needed. If anyone really needs help removing themselves from the burden of being a timeshare owner feel free to contact me at allanwinnett@yahoo.com and I will get you on the right path. Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon!

August 17 2014 at 4:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I completely agree with this article that you should never pay money to a reseller. We have heard thousands of owners who have called us after wiring a large amount of money to an overseas reseller. At Timeshare Advocacy International, we help owners cancel their timeshare contract based on the lies and misrepresentations they were told in the timeshare presentation. Please check out our website at http://www.timesharecancellation.com we have several helpful tools to help owners realize that timeshare cancellation is possible without the scam.

May 28 2014 at 2:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There are many, many people who are having a hard time with those darn timeshares. Some people are just walking away and taking the ding on their credit whereas other people go from one scam resale company to another hoping to find a way to be rid of it for good.

Just like the article stated, it's in your best bet to at least try to sale it by yourself before turning to a resale company. There are many sites that will list if for free of for a nominal fee.

You've to to search around and even be willing to sell your timeshare for pennies on the dollar.


March 28 2014 at 8:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

we have a timeshare that we just want to get rid of no money, no renting, no anything. how exactly do you 'just give it up' or how to 'give it back to the company'? i also heard that it messes up your credit is that true? please help.

January 15 2014 at 10:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nana's Internet

Is anyone familiar with Resort Owners Resale in Florida. Mike Rice is the person I have been talking to and he has made promises on the phone that are not in the contract they have asked via me to sign. I asked question via e-mail and they will not respond but says he will answer any questions I may have via phone.I explained that my husband is out of town with his ill parent and has access to e-mail and we both should know the answers to my questions. I refuse to sign the contract and pay the $300 requested until I get the answers to my questions. My questions are: What does my $300 pay for? Who handles the sales transaction? Who sends my money to me when the timeshare sells? Please send me three references of people with whom you have sold timeshares, including their name, telephone number and the location and dates of their transactions?
Am I being unreasonable in this request or does it sound like a scam?
Mr. Rice says he had clients that want a 4 bedroom 4 bath, bi-annual timeshare and are willing to pay for it.The property is Williamsburg Plantation in Williamsburg, VA
What do you advise?

N Strole

August 01 2013 at 8:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If you don't have any luck selling, donation can be a great option. Donate for a Cause is a registered non-profit that accepts timeshare donations and grants the proceeds to the nation's leading charities such as the National Foundation for Cancer Research and Feed the Children. All transfers are handled by a licensed escrow and title company so you know everything is done right the first time.

April 11 2013 at 12:05 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

You have several options, you could:

- Sell it
- Inherit it
- Rent it
- Just drop it
- Give it back to the resort
- Donate it
- Transfer it
- Hire and attorney and cancel the contract

Just remember: NEVER pay an upfront fee to get rid of your timeshare! If you do, you'll be scammed:


February 16 2013 at 2:27 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply