Timeshare Exit Strategies

Educate Yourself on Timeshare Exit or Cancellation Strategies

Important Facts to Know Before You Sell or Cancel

Deciding to exit or cancel your timeshare can be an overwhelming and daunting decision, especially without a clear path forward. The confusion can be compounded even further with timeshare exit firms claiming to guarantee an exit of your timeshare, but in exchange for a large up-front free. By wary of exit scams that will attempt to take advantage of your desire to end your timeshare. To help protect timeshare owners, the below list compiles various strategies to successfully and safely exit your timeshare.

Timeshare Exchange Options
Strategy 1: Talk To Your Timeshare Company
Many timeshare companies have implemented programs over the past several years to take back your timeshare. These programs are based on the discretion of the timeshare company. Ask your timeshare company if they have a program to help you transition out of your timeshare. Often these programs are free and more convenient than using a timeshare exit company and paying their additional fees. Example programs include Ovation by Wyndham, Legacy Program by Westgate, and Horizons by Holiday Inn.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, timeshares began these programs in 2015 and are increasingly more willing to work with owners directly than in prior years. Since starting Ovation by Wyndham, over 17,000 owners have used it.

A full list of official exit programs by each developer is available at ResponsibleExit.com.

Strategy 2: Exchange Your Timeshare With Other Resorts
Exchanging your timeshare allows you to book resorts with other timeshare companies, giving you more options when determining your future travel. Utilizing a timeshare exchange is a popular option for owners who are looking for destinations not offered through their program. Two of the most popular exchanges are Interval International and RCI, which offers access to over 4,300 affiliated resorts in over 100 countries.

Visit RCI.com for information on the benefits of using an exchange.

Strategy 3: Rent Out Your Timeshare
If timeshare ownership may still be suitable for you long-term, renting out your timeshare will help offset the costs, such as maintenance fees. The first step to explore renting is to contact your HOA or timeshare company to see what rental opportunities are available for your specific ownership. A popular program to rent out timeshares is with Extra Holidays, which provides an online booking platform for consumers to easily book reservations.

Visit ExtraHolidays.com for information to rent out your timeshare to help offset costs.

Strategy 4: Resell Your Timeshare
Reselling your timeshare may provide financial support and can be a safe method of exit. However, the resale market can also be prone to fraud and scams from exit firms attempting to take advantage of owners. Two safe and endorsed resale companies are Fidelity Real Estate and Timeshare Broker Associates.

· Fidelity Real Estate: Established in 2000, Fidelity Real Estate Agency is full-service licensed real estate broker located in Florida. Fidelity is a Disney Vacation Club Recommended Broker, a Wyndham Featured Reseller, and holds an A+ rating from the BBB. FidelityResales.com.

· Timeshare Broker Associates: With over 15 years of experience, Timeshare Broker Associates is a full-service licensed real estate broker located in Florida. Timeshare Broker Associates is a Wyndham Featured Reseller and holds an A+ rating from the BBB. TimeshareBrokerAssociates.com.

Be aware of upfront fees and "money back guarantees." There are countless Better Business Bureau complaint filings of fraudulent timeshare exit firms taking consumers money and not actually selling their timeshare. These companies can collect thousands of dollars from consumers in taxes, resort maintenance fees, legal fees, title transfer fees, third-party advertising and promotion fees and closing costs.

If a timeshare reseller is bragging about their sales, ask how much of it is from rentals versus actual timeshare sales. Resellers usually combine their timeshare sales and rental sales together. Be very cautious of unsolicited calls spoofing their phone number and providing a fraudulent address.

If you decide to use your own timeshare exit company, research the company first to make sure they are reputable and licensed You can research the status of a resale company through the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials, or ARELLO, by enter the name of the broker you may be working with into their database at ARELLO.com.

The sale of your timeshare is completely based on the economic principles of supply and demand. Selling your timeshare will depend on the market and the competition of your product.

If a resale company is promising you results, see how likely they are to deliver by checking out the other units available in your resort or at the destination. Research timeshare sales sites to see how many units are already for sale in your area. How much are they asking for and how long have they been on the market? Be sure to compare a product that is comparable to yours, same resort, unit size, time of year, and exchange parameters. These factors combined with the age of the product, resort amenities, product type, exchange options, location and time of year are some aspects that may determine price.

When listing with a resale company, inquire on all fees involved with the listing. You may need to pay legal fees in addition to real estate commissions and closing costs when you sell your timeshare, all of which can be substantial.. In addition there are taxes, resort maintenance fees, legal fees and title transfer fees that may not be covered by the resale firm.

Strategy 5: Exit Through Foreclosure
A dramatic and extreme option to exit your timeshare is to walk away by stopping payments on maintenance fees and any outstanding loan balances. However, this option comes with severe consequences for your personal finances and credit. Once payments are stopped, your timeshare will first default on payments, become delinquent, and ultimately face foreclosure. During this process, your credit score may drop due to missed payments and foreclosure. This activity is public record and is reported to credit bureaus, which will remain on your file for years. Owners considering this option should always contact their timeshare company first to discuss alternatives.

This worst-case scenario is unfortunately used unknowingly by many timeshare owners who resort to paying third-party timeshare exit firms. According to the Orlando Sentinel, these firms usually require large upfront payments and offer to “guarantee” an exit within 1 year, even though that exit may take place as a foreclosure.

There are countless news reports of timeshare exit scams and be sure to read our checklist on how to identify a timeshare exit scam.