How Long is Too Long to Sell Your Timeshare?
by Doug Milbrath, CEO
One of the questions we get asked constantly by timeshare sellers is “how long will it take to sell my timeshare?” It’s a good question and, while truthful, our answer is probably not what most owners want to hear: It’s impossible to predict how long selling a specific timeshare will take, but we make every effort possible to ensure the process is as fast as it can be. Timeshare owners considering a sale would benefit from understanding the factors affecting time-to-sell, and how long is “too long” to wait.
Trying to Sell a Legacy Resort Might be Wasting Your Time
If you own at a legacy resort it may be a beautiful property, but it won’t have much demand on the resale market since developer sales have ceased. It has been our experience that no amount of advertising or marketing is going to make up for that missing demand. Attempting to sell your legacy property, or waiting while it sits on the market, may be a waste of your valuable time. For this reason, Bay Tree doesn’t accept new advertisers from legacy resorts. Our advice is to become active with the HOA at your resort; work together with your fellow owners to explore viable exit strategies, rather than wasting your time waiting for an offer that will never come.
What if Houses Came in 52 Flavors?
Selling your timeshare is certainly not the same process as selling your house, but there are enough similarities to make a useful analogy: When you are selling a house, buyers may have a variety of other homes for sale in your area to consider, but once they decide on yours that’s the end of the story. If you consider your timeshare resort as the “house,” then the many types of ownerships available at your resort become like distinct “flavors” of the house. For a fixed week resort with only one floor-plan available, there would be 52 flavors. A resort with four seasons, four floor-plans, and three usage types (annual, even years, odd years), would have 48 flavors. Even a points-based resort with just 5 common points packages being sold, and three usage types, will have 15 flavors.
Just as today’s home buyer will have specific must-haves and other priorities when choosing a home, today’s timeshare resale buyer will have a specific type of ownership in mind when they go shopping (often one they are already familiar with from attending a timeshare presentation.) Someone who wants a two-bedroom week “18” annual isn’t going to suddenly want your studio week “25” odd-year biennial just because the price is good. If there are 48 flavors of timeshares at your resort, then any prospective buyer will have a 1/48 likelihood of wanting yours. You can hope that your number comes up sooner, but you can know that on a long enough timeline your number will indeed come up.
Too Long Compared to What?
Imagine that you knew selling your timeshare for a fair price would take 5 years. While that amount of time might not be ideal for anyone, would it be too long? If so, too long compared to what? Unless your resort is offering to buy back your timeshare, your only other option would be keeping it forever. Your timeshare isn’t going to sell itself, and it isn’t going to go away on its own. Keeping your timeshare might be the right decision; perhaps you’d find a way to start using and enjoying it. Assuming you are adamant about selling it, then the sooner you start the sooner you’ll be done.
The most important thing for timeshare sellers to make sure that, if you put your timeshare on the market for sale, it will stay on the market until sold. Many timeshare resale companies minimize their costs of advertising by requiring the seller to “renew” periodically. Much like mail-in rebates, most consumers will forget about the renewal; allowing the company to remove properties that don’t sell quickly. Bay Tree Solutions is the only timeshare resale company that guarantees to advertise your timeshare until sold, period. Whether your property gets an offer in days, or in years, we’ll be there providing you the same great service throughout. Additionally, we guarantee to be the fastest possible way to sell.
How to Help Make Your Timeshare Sell Faster
Selling your timeshare is not a static process. If anything, at least in the 12 years Bay Tree has been around, the timeshare resale market has been defined by constant evolution. In the future it may be possible to better predict time-to-sell, a higher percentage of Americans could start buying timeshare, or new technology could bring down the cost of selling a timeshare substantially. Today, timeshare owners who want to sell have an important role to play in their own success. Here are a few actions you can take to make it faster and easier to sell timeshare:
Keep Your Timeshare Talk Positive: Negative online content about timeshare is the #1 obstacle to selling faster. Many potential buyers of your timeshare lose interest quickly when they encounter existing owners complaining about how long it takes to sell one. As explained above, the many flavors of timeshare at your resort contribute to timeshares taking longer to sell. But this is a nuanced point that timeshare buyers may not fully understand. Before you decide to vent publicly about your timeshare or the sale process in any way, consider whether you would want your potential buyer reading it.
Use Your Timeshare Until it Sells: If your property ends up taking longer to sell, make sure you continue to use your week. Your annual maintenance fee becomes a good deal if you get a great vacation out of it. Also, your buyer may have questions to ask about your resort or how your timeshare works. By continuing to use it, you stay current on how to use it – allowing you to accurately answer a buyer’s questions when the time comes. If you are absolutely unable to use your timeshare, contact us and we will advertise it for rent while it's for sale.
Don’t Confuse a Feature with a Bug: You may not like the fact that your timeshare could take longer to sell than your house, but that doesn’t necessarily reflect on the value of your timeshare. In short, time-to-sell is not a “bug” or a problem to be solved; it’s just one of the many “features” of timeshare ownership. It just is. Once you accept that selling your timeshare may take some time, get it on the market as soon as you can and then get back to your life knowing that it’s just a matter of time.