Timeshare Buyers

Timeshare Seller

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What is a Timeshare?

Timesharing or vacation ownership is a way of using and owning a particular property. The owner has a deeded Right-To-Use agreement with a resort for a designated period of time, usually in weekly increments. It allows you to use the property for a certain period of time each year. You pay an initial investment for the timeshare and then you will pay a maintenance fee each year for the upkeep of the timeshare.

What are maintenance fees?

Maintenance fees are the cost to operate the resort. This fee is divided up amongst all of the owners. A portion of the maintenance fee is to build up reserves to pay the non-recurring costs like furniture and appliances. The reserve is also set up to pay for other capital costs incurred because of physical deterioration. When a developer is still selling in a resort, the fees may be subsidized and are subject to go up after the homeowner association takes over the association. The States do have some control over how much is kept in reserve for future spending.

How much are maintenance fees?

Maintenance fees will vary from resort to resort depending on location, size of unit, amount of amenities, etc. There are occasionally special assessments charged to handle a specific problem at a resort that has not been funded.

What is the difference in purchasing a timeshare on the resale market and purchasing a timeshare directly from the developer? Why are the prices so low on the resale market compared to purchasing directly from the developer?

When you purchase a timeshare from the developer you will be paying for all of the sales and marketing that has been done to promote the resort. Buying resale you will generally have a savings of 50% or more, and enjoy most of the same wonderful vacation benefits as if you purchased it directly from the developer!

Prices are based on supply and demand. When you have a large resort with several thousand owners there will generally be a number of timeshares on the market. That will keep the prices lower.

What is a float week?

A float week is one that allows you to schedule a week of your choice rather than having the same one every year, with no extra fee being charged for that freedom. The weeks that are available for you to choose from is determined by the resort and which season your week belongs to. Resorts accept reservations for weeks by the owners as soon as the annual maintenance fees are paid, subject to availability. You will need to reserve your week even if you’re going to bank it with an exchange company.

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What is a fixed week?

A fixed week is a set week in a set unit that you will occupy every year. It is identified by a number, e.g. the first week in January is Week 1. They typically begin on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. The value of the ownership of a fixed week is that you will know which unit you will be using and where you will be going. If you decide not to use the week, you can make it a “floating week” for that year by depositing it into the exchange system. You will pay an exchange fee to do this.

What is a flex week?

A flex week means that your week is fixed unless you call to exchange it. This allows you the priority of using a certain unit but the privilege of exchanging within the resort during a certain period without paying a fee.

What is a banked week?

This is a week that the owner “banks” with the exchange company. Once the week is banked, the owner typically has two years in which to request and exchange against the banked week. When the week is banked the week belongs to the exchange company and someone else will use that banked week. It will not be available for the owner to use. Generally when a week is banked it can not be removed from the bank. When you are purchasing a resale it is very important to make sure the week is not banked if you intend to use the week.

What does “exchanging” mean?

The process of trading an interval week at one resort for an interval week at another resort, or trading a specific week at the home resort for another week at the same resort is “exchanging.” The exchange system allows an interval owner to trade their week with other interval owners thereby allowing each owner to travel and vacation throughout the world. This is usually done through an exchange company. It is also done via the internet with owners exchanging with other owners. Some resorts have internal exchanges with other resorts which are usually owned by the same company. This is known as an internal exchange or trade. Island One Resorts and Westgate Resorts are examples of the internal exchange program.

What are “points” and how does the “point system” work?

Points are units of measurement used by exchange companies and timeshare owners to establish value for seasons, sizes of units, and resort locations. Points clubs offer the owner a variety of resorts from which to choose by exchanging points. Point owners are allotted a number of points each year which can be used to book a period of time that can be just a few days or full weeks. Points can also be exchanged for cruises and other things at some resorts. The resort point programs are different than the point program offered by RCI. Hilton and Wyndham/Fairfield are two good examples of the point program.

The point system allows you to break up your vacationing into 3-4 day vacations. It also allows you to make better use of your week by vacationing in the off season. You can use your points towards a longer stay, a larger unit, or a season that is in greater demand. The advantage of the point system is the flexibility it offers.

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What is a “lock-off” or “lockout” unit?

A lock-off unit is a timeshare property which can be divided into two complete sections so that two different parties may occupy either half at the same time. These timeshares come in many sizes and have two distinct living and sleeping areas. If an owner buys a lock-off unit, they can stay in the whole unit, divide the unit and stay in one half of the unit and rent the other half, or rent both halves to different parties. A lock-off unit that can be split in half would have two front doors and be totally independent of each other.

There are different rules regarding exchanging the lock-off units through the exchange companies. Check with the exchange company to see if the unit you own will exchange for two weeks. They will also tell you what size unit you will get for each week.

What is the difference between a biennial timeshare and a biannual timeshare?

A biannual timeshare allows the owner to receive two weeks of timeshare every year.

A biennial timeshare, which is far more common than biannual, allows the use of a week that occurs every other year. There are odd and even year biennial usages. Examples of a biennial even year would be 2008, 2010, 2012, etc. Therefore if a timeshare is listed as being a biennial even week timeshare, this would mean that you may use the timeshare on even numbered years.

What does “right to use (or leased property)” or “deeded” mean?

A leased property is a right to use the property that will expire after a certain number of years, which can be from 20 to 99. It is important to verify that you can transfer your property if it is a right to use property. With a right-to-use timeshare, although it is usually less expensive than a deeded one, you do not own the property, but simply have the right to use it for the specified period of time. Because it will revert back to the developer at some future date, the developer has a greater incentive to keep the property in good condition. However, your resale rights may be limited. Also, with vacation intervals or right-to-use timeshares, your unit may be "fixed" (you’re entitled to use the same unit each time) or "floating" (you’re entitled to a similar unit, but not necessarily the same one). The time you’re entitled to use your timeshare, may also be fixed or floating. Time and unit could also be some combination of fixed or floating.

A deeded property means that you have a deed for the rest of your life and your heirs will inherit the property. It means you have true property ownership with a deed recorded in the county where the property exists. This type of property has the same rights of ownership accorded to it as other deeded real estate. The owner may sell, rent, bequeath, or give away the property.

What fees are involved in buying timeshare?

The fees include:

  • initial purchase of the timeshare
  • closing costs
  • sometimes a membership transfer fee
  • Annual membership fee with the exchange company

Who handles the closing? Do I need a lawyer?

You should use a reputable closing company to handle the rest. We recommend Timeshare Resale Closing Service. A lawyer should not be necessary.

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What is a “season” in timeshare?

Each resort will have different seasons depending on the geographic position etc., and this has a significant impact on the demand of any timeshare property. Since demand affects price and trading power, seasonal fluctuation of demand is an important factor to consider when buying, selling, or renting timeshare property. RCI and Interval International have similar ways of measuring a timeshare's demand and trading power for exchange purposes.

RCI Interval International
Red - High Red - High
White - Mid Yellow/Amber - Mid
Blue - Low Green - Low

Can I bring my pets?

Not usually, but check with the individual resorts.

What is an exchange and what is an exchange company?

An exchange is the process of trading an interval week at one resort for an interval week at another resort, or trading a specific week at the home resort for another week at the same resort. The exchange system allows an interval owner to trade their week with other interval owners thereby allowing each owner to travel and vacation throughout the world. This is usually done through an exchange company. It is also done via the internet with owners exchanging with other owners.

Some resorts have internal exchanges with other resorts which are usually owned by the same company. This is known as an internal exchange. Island One Resorts and Westgate Resorts are examples of the internal exchange programs.

An exchange company is a company or organization that accepts timeshare weeks on deposit from its interval owners/members to establish a pool of weeks from which other members may select the resort and vacation times of their choice. When a member deposits their week with an exchange company, the company compares the week the depositor is asking for with weeks deposited by other members and provides a suitable match based on availability and value. Factors affecting the exchange value are: the resort's rating, the time division (such as prime season versus low season), the size of the unit desired, etc. There are a number of exchange companies to choose from, with RCI and Interval International being the largest.

What should I watch out for when buying a resale timeshare?

You will want to make sure the property is free and clear of all encumbrances. That includes making sure the maintenance fees and taxes are paid. Make sure there are no mortgages on the property. Make sure you are buying from the deeded owner. Make sure you know exactly what you are buying. A red floating week does not always mean that you can use any week of the year without paying a fee. When you are working with a us, this is part of the service we provide.

What is the difference between a Five-Star resort and a Gold Crown resort?

A “Gold Crown Resort” is a recognition program through RCI that honors resorts that consistently offer superior vacation experiences. The Gold Crown award requires resorts to meet more stringent standards in the areas of resort amenities, unit amenities, and guest services. This is RCI's highest rating for a resort. Interval International's "Five-Star" designation, their highest rating, is awarded based on comparable standards.

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Is financing available if I purchase a timeshare on the resale market?

Yes, you can finance the purchase of your new timeshare. We recommend Tammac Financial to assist you with your financing needs. You can also try FirstAgain, which offers very competitive rates.

What fees are involved in selling timeshare?

The costs include:

  • Our brokerage commission
  • Maintenance fees and taxes (though it is usual for the buyer to reimburse for current year fees and taxes if they are taking current year usage, but that will agreed upon by the seller and the buyer).
  • Outstanding mortgages
  • Any liens that may be against the timeshare.
  • Other closing costs are negotiable between buyer and seller. See Buyer FAQ for those costs.

Do I need an appraisal to sell or rent my timeshare?

No, you do not need an appraisal to sell or rent your timeshare. However, if you would like to see what other vacation properties that are similar to yours are advertising and selling for, please click here for a free market evaluation.

Who handles the closing? Do I need a lawyer?

A lawyer will be unnecessary, especially if you use a licensed and bonded title company. We use Timeshare Resale Closing Services, Inc. Timeshare Resale Closing Services handles the closing process from start to finish. They will take care of the deed preparation, escrow of funds, timeshare estoppel certificate, closing statements, and recording fees, all for a flat fee. The title work is attorney reviewed and guaranteed to be free and clear of any encumbrances on the title. It is usual for the buyer to pay closing fees, but that will be agreed upon by the seller and the buyer.

What if I can’t find my deed and I want to sell my timeshare?

Timeshare Resale Closing Service can recover your deed through the county courthouse. There is typically a small fee for this service.

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How long will it take to sell my timeshare?

When selling your timeshare there is no predetermined sales time. However, there are many factors to consider that will affect the time it will take to sell your timeshare including price, resort, location, week, availability, etc.

How long will it take to close once I sell my timeshare?

Once the contract is signed, it can take between 1-4 months. Our normal closings take 30 days.

How will I know what my timeshare is worth?

In order to sell your timeshare, you must be realistic about the amount your timeshare is worth on the resale market. Generally, timeshares are sold on the resale market for between 30-50% of the original developer price. If you would like to find out what other vacation properties are advertising and selling for that are like yours, please click here for a free market evaluation.

Can I sell or rent my timeshare if I still owe money on it?

Yes, you can. If you are selling your timeshare, you will need to pay off the balance before the deed is transferred.

How do we handle the paperwork when I find a buyer for my week?

We will handle all the paperwork for the sale. You won’t have to worry about a thing.

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