Attending a timeshare presentation is a great way to get free stuff. All you have to do is listen to their 90-minute presentation and say no to the timeshare. Easy peasy, right?
Well, kind of.
The timeshare industry is a big one generating revenues over $8.6 billion a year. The whole reason a company does a timeshare presentation is to get people to buy. The salespeople are under extreme pressure to make sales.
They are very good at what they do and have no qualms about using strong tactics. Here are a few things to consider before going to an infamous timeshare presentation. If you do it right you might make it through without losing your life savings.
Be on your guard about everything. Don’t sign anything without thoroughly reading it first. Don’t accept any gifts without understanding the terms and conditions.
Oftentimes you receive a free or discounted vacation for listening to the spiel. They will use that against you as they try to coerce you into buying.
Accepting the gift doesn’t legally require you to buy anything. But they’ll sure make it sound like it morally does.
Negotiate Your Gifts, First
That being said, make sure that any gifts you do receive are worth it. You will be giving these people several hours of your time. And you will have to withstand a lot of pressure throughout the process.
The value of the gift needs to be worth what you will be going through. Sometimes they offer stuff like luggage or cameras. To be honest, that probably isn’t worth the onslaught that you will face.
Understand the Pressure
The pressure to buy is intense. The salespeople have a long list of tactics to convince you that their timeshare is an awesome deal.
These include but are not limited to
- Guilting you for what you’ve already accepted
- Putting a time limit on special offers
- Arguing with your objections
- Keeping you for longer than the allotted time
- Not disclosing cancellation information
- Outright lying about the investment value/actual ownership costs
- Teaming up against you
Take a moment and look through a few online message boards and you’ll see. There is story after story of someone not intending to buy and being pressured into it. Timeshare salespeople are scary good at what they do.
Don’t Bring Money to the Timeshare Presentation
Don’t bring your checkbook and don’t bring extra credit cards. Most of the time they will require you to bring at least one major credit card. Pick one that has very little available balance on it to ensure you can’t use it.
Don’t get cocky and think you can withstand their tactics on your own. Make it less stressful for yourself. If you don’t have the money in hand, you can’t buy on the spot.
Don’t Spend Money You Don’t Have
The only thing worse than buying a timeshare is buying it with money you don’t have. Salespeople will offer you all sort of amazing financing deals.
They want to help you buy on the spot. That way you can take advantage of whatever deal they’re offering. They’re only trying to help.
That’s how they’ll present it, at least. But if you stop to think about it, you would have two large, ongoing financial obligations. You’ll have to keep paying the maintenance fees and all the interest on the buy-in.
Imagine what would happen if you lost your job? You can’t even sell it for a reasonable amount to get out from under it. Which brings us to our next point.
Know the Resale Value
Do a little research and know the resale value of that company’s timeshares before you go. This can help you in a couple ways.
First, the salesperson will often tell you that if it doesn’t work out you can always sell it later. Of course, the idea is that you would recoup what you put into it. The salesperson will either outright lie and tell you that, or at least let you assume it.
The second way it can help is to get you out of there faster. Find their resales on eBay and bring in a copy of some completed auctions. You might find that your 90-minute timeshare presentation suddenly gets a lot shorter.
Know the Investment Value
A classic timeshare salesperson tactic is to portray the timeshare as an investment. Do your research beforehand so you won’t fall for this trick.
An investment is something you put money into, expecting to get more money out of in the future. You will never get more money out of a timeshare. Check out the real costs of a timeshare using this handy calculator.
You pay a huge buy-in up front. Then you pay hefty maintenance fees every year afterward. Plus, you can only sell it at a loss. There’s no gain in there for you, except maybe a couple of really expensive vacations.
Don’t Act Interested
Whatever you do while you’re at the timeshare presentation, don’t act interested. If you ask questions or appear engaged, they will take that as a sign they can make the sale. They won’t let you go until they do.
Enjoy Your Discounted Vacation
If you survive the timeshare presentation with your savings intact, enjoy! You deserve some rest and relaxation after the onslaught you endured.
Some people work the timeshare system against these companies. They figure out how to survive the timeshare presentation. Then they start calling up companies asking what discounts or free gifts they offer.
If you can stomach it, this can be a way to save big on your vacations. But you’ll need nerves of steel and no qualms about working the system.
What if You Didn’t Survive…
What do you do if you didn’t survive a timeshare presentation? Now you’re full of buyer’s remorse but don’t know how to get rid of it.
Resale seems to be your only option. But you’ll take such a loss that it doesn’t seem like much of an option.
Don’t worry, you do have another option. One that involves getting back much of your “investment”. Contact us today to learn more.
These days, everyone is aware of timeshares. While they might be synonymous with presentations and pushy sales pitches, timeshares can be an affordable way to get some vacation time on the books.
With the increase in timeshare sales, the expansion of timeshare resales has gone up, too. Timeshare sales by owner can reduce the cost for buyers, giving people the opportunity to vacation at an especially steep discount. Timeshare resales can be a boon for the buyer, but as a seller, it may be a bad idea to list your portion of the property yourself.
Maybe you’re considering selling your timeshare. If so, there’s a lot to be aware of before attempting to unload your share on the internet or elsewhere. For one, there’s no timeshare resale market. Secondly, there’s a huge risk of getting scammed. Keep reading for a look at why you should never sell your timeshare without first consulting with a lawyer.
Why You Might Want to Sell Your Timeshare
The allure of the timeshare is undeniable. Instead of buying a whole vacation home, you purchase 1/50th of the place. This way, you get to use the property for that week you have off, and you’re not paying for the time that you don’t spend there.
In theory, it’s great — and millions of people have bought into it. But, over time, the fees start piling up. There are maintenance fees, and they keep climbing. After a while, maybe you’re not able to travel much, or you want to spend your vacation in a new place instead of the old one.
Whatever the reason, selling your timeshare on the market might seem like a way to get out of a contract that feels relentless.
Let’s take a look at some of the challenges posed by trying to offload a timeshare:
Selling a Timeshare Isn’t At All Like Selling Traditional Real Estate
Just because you sold your house by owner doesn’t mean you can do the same with a timeshare property. First of all, timeshare laws vary depending on the state or country in which they are located. Second, you’re selling a fraction of a piece of property — so while you might be raring to go with the paperwork, the resort or governing association might not recognize the new owner.
Additionally, when you’re selling a timeshare, you must compete with a number of others who are selling literally the exact same thing. We’re not talking multiple two-bedroom units, we’re talking multiple two-bedroom units with the same layout, same decor, same amenities.
The other part of this is location. If you happen to have a timeshare in Hawaii, Disneyland or some kind of exotic locale, you’ll probably find more buyers are interested in taking over your arrangement.
Unfortunately, sellers with timeshares by a lake in New Hampshire or Minnesota might not be able to drum up the same amount of interest, no matter how beautiful the view.
Be Wary of Scams
Unfortunately, because there’s not much of a market for reselling timeshares, there are a lot of people out there trying to take advantage of those trying to sell.
Fraudulent Third-Party Resellers
There are a number of third-party companies that will promise to help you find a buyer, but there’s a catch. How this works is scammers target potential timeshare sellers saying they have a buyer ready or promise to sell your timeshare in short order.
The service will ask you to pay an upfront fee — typically via wire transfer. The fee justified by the scammer who says it’s used to cover closing costs, maintenance fees, taxes, or other costs linked to the sale. And, usually, when you send that money, the seller disappears without having made the sale. You’re out hundreds or thousands of dollars and still have an unwanted timeshare to deal with.
My recommendation to timeshare owners is, never send money to someone you don’t know. Get everything in writing and do not pay until there is proof that the sale has been made.
This type of scam is so widespread that the Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning, telling sellers to avoid services that require an upfront payment. Red flags include unsolicited calls or emails from a third-party seller and the promise that you’ll turn a profit.
A slightly less common type of timeshare scam is the donation scam. In this case, there are companies preying on timeshare owners so eager to get out of their timeshare that they’ll give it away.
Unfortunately, this process tends to cost thousands of dollars in fees–in exchange for an eventual tax write-off. The companies involved in this scam advertise a large charitable donation write-off based on the property value, but this amount is usually overblown. Many timeshares in saturated markets might not be worth anything at all.
This is Not a Seller’s Market
In some cases, the resort will be able to help you with the resale process, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee you’ll be able to make a sale. While there are legitimate timeshare resellers out there, and buyers who will take them, you likely aren’t going to get your money back.
Don’t Sell Your Timeshare Without a Lawyer
If you do decide to sell your timeshare, it’s important to keep your expectations in check.
As you can see, selling a timeshare is nowhere near as easy as buying one. There are so many scams and Craigslist listings and shady deals out there, that no one should try to offload an unwanted vacation share on their own.
My Timeshare Attorney can help with all matters related to your timeshare. Contact us today for a free 30-minute consultation, and we’ll come up with a plan.
With all the payments, fees, and headaches that come with timeshares, it’s no small wonder that consumers wish to get rid of them.
However, getting rid of your timeshare is no easy task.
Getting rid of your timeshare can be done by defaulting on your contract, giving it away, or selling it.
Defaulting on your timeshare is not the most ideal, but in certain situations, it can be an option of last resort.
Selling your timeshare or getting rid of it are the most viable options for getting rid of your timeshares.
Whether you’re selling it, giving it away, or defaulting on it, it’s important to be informed about your options.
Continue reading to learn how to get rid of a timeshare!
Selling Your Timeshare
This is often the first choice for timeshare owners who are looking for how to get rid of a timeshare.
However, it is important to mention that getting rid of a timeshare by selling it can be a difficult task.
The resale timeshare market is a difficult one to navigate. Some people selling their timeshares have listed their properties for as little as $1.
They’ve even offered to pay all closing costs and fees for the buyer.
Contrary to what the company told you when they sold you the timeshare, the market is not that lucrative for private sellers.
Many resorts offer the advice of using an “approved” resale company for those who wish to get rid of their timeshare by selling it.
Resale companies will act much like a real estate agent, they will list the timeshare for you and assist with the paperwork and anything else involved in selling it.
However, it is important to note that these companies will charge fees for listing the property on top of closing fees for when it sells.
The best way to resell your timeshare is to study the market and at a time of high demand, sell your timeshare for a low price.
Maybe not as low as $1 but still low enough to entice a buyer into buying your timeshare.
Listing your timeshare in the classifieds, eBay, and Craigslist, are good ways to ensure your listing gets the most exposure and the best chance of being sold.
Should you run into issues in actually selling your timeshare, there is always the option of giving it away.
Giving Away/Donating Your Timeshare
Giving away or donating your timeshare can be quite the viable option when you wish to get rid of it without too much fuss.
There are a number of charities who are willing to accept timeshares as donations.
However, there are still a few things to be cautious about.
Before giving away the timeshare, and especially before donating, it’s best to be sure the charity or person taking it over is willing and able to make any payments left on it.
If your timeshare is paid off, meaning you now own it, be sure the interested parties are willing to pay the annual upkeep fees.
Most charities have funds and budgets set aside for the fees associated with timeshares, but it is always wise to check. Especially with a smaller charity which may not know about the annual upkeep fees.
Even when you own the timeshare there are still fees attached to it that have to be paid. These fees can rise at an average rate of around 5% per year.
This can often lend itself to the reasons for wanting to get rid of the timeshare, as well as making it difficult to get rid of.
Be sure whoever is taking over the timeshare is aware of all that entails especially if they are a family member or close friend.
Defaulting on Your Timeshare
When all else has failed, and as a last resort, you can simply stop making payments and walk away, allowing your timeshare to go into default.
This is the riskiest of options since there is no way to know how the resort will react to the default.
They could aggressively go after you by using collection agencies and techniques to ensure they receive their money.
Another option for the resort, especially for those with a tight budget, is to simply take the timeshare back and attempt to resell it themselves.
There are other consequences to consider besides collections agencies, there is the damage to your credit score, as well as the possibility of being sued and taken to small claims court for the full amount owed and the company’s legal fees.
Negative information can appear on your credit report for as long as seven years before finally dropping off your report.
Defaulting on your timeshare can also result in painful foreclosure proceedings and fees.
Defaulting on your timeshare should be an absolute last resort when looking into how to get rid of a timeshare.
Choosing How to Get Rid of a Timeshare
Deciding you want to get rid of your timeshare can be an easy decision. However, actually getting rid of it is where the difficulty comes in.
Whether you plan to sell it, give it away or donate it, or simply walk away and risk defaulting, it helps to be informed about your options and what each entails.
Even armed with all the knowledge available on how to get rid of a timeshare, it’s not unusual or even worrisome to be overwhelmed by it all.
Should you find yourself wishing to unburden yourself of a timeshare and overwhelmed by the whole ordeal. Or if you feel trapped like there is no way out.
Contact us today for a free consultation on the best options for how to get rid of a timeshare!
“Free 7 days vacation for attending our short presentation!”
You went to a vacation timeshare presentation with the intent of listening politely and walking out with nice dinner or free hotel stay. You ended up signing a timeshare purchase contract even though you had no intent to buy a timeshare when you first strolled into the meeting.
If you purchased a timeshare and you need to cancel the deal, what can you do? It’s a legal contract!
Do you want to get out from under your timeshare obligation? You’ll need a lawyer.
Read on to learn more about Florida timeshare cancellation law and how to legally cancel a timeshare contract.
Cancel a Timeshare Contract Quickly
By the end of a presentation, you felt worn down by the high-pressure sales pitch. You wanted out so badly that you signed a timeshare purchase contract even though you had no intent to buy a timeshare a few hours earlier.
Timeshare buyers in Florida have the right to cancel (rescind) their contract until midnight of the tenth calendar day following the execution date or the day on which the purchaser received the last of all required documents, whichever occurs later. The seller cannot ask or require you to give up this right.
All money paid must be returned to the buyer if the proper cancellation procedure is followed in the time allotted.
Send a Cancellation Letter
The cancellation must be in writing and is effective at the time of postmark or transmission delivered by postal service or telegraph. Otherwise, your written notice is effective the date it is delivered to the timeshare developer’s place of business by the delivery service.
A lawyer can make sure the cancellation letter includes certain legally required information, like the date of the purchase and a legal description of the timeshare, as well as make sure the letter is properly delivered in accordance with Florida law.
What Happens After the Tenth Day?
Once the rescission period passes without cancellation, you have to sell your timeshare to recover your money rather than get a refund. In a few situations, however, an attorney can help you cancel a timeshare contract even after the cancellation period has expired.
Laws exist to defend you against deceptive and unfair business practices. With consumer protection laws, you have the right to dispute the contract due to breach or consumer rights violations. The law says that if unfair or deceptive practices were used for financial gain, you should receive a fair settlement of your warranted claims.
What About Resale?
If you must sell your timeshare rather than get a refund, you have certain rights. Under Florida law, “Resale Service Providers” are required to disclose in writing the fees and costs relating to advertising, listing, or sale of a timeshare interest.
Things a Resale Service Provider CAN’T do:
- Misrepresent a pre-existing interest in your timeshare
- Mislead you as to the success rate of their sales
- Provide brokerage or direct sale services
- Collect any payment or engage in any resale advertising activities until you deliver a signed written agreement for the services.
Things a Resale Service Provider MUST do:
- Provide the advertising agreement in writing
- Honor a cancellation request made within 7 days following a signed agreement to list with them
- Fully refund to a timeshare owner within 20 days of a valid cancellation request.
- Print in bold type no smaller than 12-point font a full disclosure statement, in the space, immediately preceding the timeshare owner’s signature.
Resale can be quite costly. It is almost always better to seek legal termination of your timeshare contract with an attorney.
Cancel a Timeshare Contract With an Attorney
A business contract is considered a binding legal document. However, it does not mean that it is absolute and final. Timeshare companies often encourage (or even push) the false information that a timeshare contract is final and unbreakable after signing.
Under Florida and US law, you may cancel a timeshare contract for a variety of reasons, including fraud or deceptive sales practices. Seek legal counsel as soon as possible if you decide you want to cancel a timeshare contract. There is a specific timeline for each possible action.
Were You Provided Honest Disclosures?
Consumer Protection Laws require the seller to provide full disclosure of all terms, conditions, and full disclosure prior to executing a financial commitment.
Do you recall these points?
- Timeshares are not real property
- The owner of the real property is the developer, not you
- The developer can legally charge you fees above and beyond the maintenance fees without your permission
- Upon your death, your heirs, successors, and assigns inherit all financial and legal obligations under contract
An experienced timeshare attorney can tell you how to legally get out of a timeshare contract. Especially if you suspect fraudulent or dishonest selling practices, contact an attorney for help, even after the cancellation period has expired.
Still Think You Are Stuck?
The people who sold you your timeshare might have said that the contract is forever binding and cannot be canceled after the tenth day. Even if there is a clause “in perpetuity” supposedly binding you and your heirs to the contract forever, including binding your heirs and successors to inherit all financial obligations–there is still a way out.
An attorney specializing in timeshare cancellation law can help you exit your timeshare contract in a legal manner. Don’t believe timeshare companies that spread the fake information of “no cancellation” after the tenth day because it isn’t true.
The law allows a timeshare contract to be terminated if deceptive, unfair, or fraudulent sales tactics were used to sell it. The right lawyer can advise you on the choices available to you in canceling your contract.
Time is very important in timeshare cancelations, so seek an attorney’s help as soon as possible. A lawyer can guide you through the proper legal procedure and ultimately save you money by severing the contract.
There is a brief cancellation period of ten days to cancel your contract without much fuss, but a good attorney can help you exit legally even after that date passes. More questions or comments on this article? Please schedule an appointment to talk to us.
Everyone loves the idea of having a dream vacation each year. Owning a place to run away to when you get the chance. It’s cheaper and easier than finding a hotel every year.
Many people choose to own a timeshare. They have fantasies of making incredible memories and taking amazing getaways.
This all seems wonderful until hit by the hidden fees.
Keep reading to learn more about timeshare fees.
Take Your Time, Know The Terms
There are four main types of timeshares. Each has their own terms and conditions. It is important to know everything you are agreeing to.
Whether you have a fixed week timeshare or a points contract, reading the contract is vital. The small print is full of information you will want to know.
It can be difficult to say no when a salesperson is pressuring you. Especially if you are enjoying a weekend on the Timeshare company’s dime.
It’s crucial you take your time. Sales staff and contracts word information in favor of the business, not the buyer. You need to know what all the clauses of the contract are committing you to.
An informed buyer is less likely to face surprises of hidden timeshare fees. They can add up in a short period of time and be more expensive than expected if you don’t do your research.
Paying the Taxman
One common fee that surprises people is timeshare taxes. These are usually on a per night basis. Timeshare taxes often start at $20 a night and get higher depending on the location of the timeshare.
Annual hidden timeshare fees can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars to more than a thousand. It’s always wise to have a timeshare attorney look at the contract and deal with the legal issues.
The resort can raise the associated fees each year. You’ll be responsible for paying them whether you use your timeshare or not.
Maintenance Timeshare Fees
There will always be annual maintenance fees for your timeshare. These can be due once a year or on a monthly schedule depending on the resort or company involved.
Maintenance fees are not fixed. You can end up having increased expenses if the resort does major renovations or repairs.
This fee pays for the maintenance of the property. It can change depending on where it’s located and who’s running it. The average annual maintenance fee for timeshares is approximately $660.
Properties can be reassessed at any time. If maintenance fees are not paid, your timeshare may go into foreclosure.
Some mistakenly believe utilities are a part of maintenance fees but this is not true. The timeshare owner’s responsible for paying all utilities for the period of time they use it.
Real Estate Associated Timeshare Fees
When a timeshare is sold there will be real estate associated fees tacked onto the cost. Transfer fees, recording fees, and assessment fees may all be expected.
You will have to pay real estate associate fees when you buy or sell your timeshare. These fees can add up to thousands of dollars and should be noted in the initial contract.
Unexpected fees and rules associated with timeshares in foreign countries may arise.
It can be almost impossible to sell your timeshare once locked in. Many sellers end up doing so at a huge loss.
It is worth noting any losses in the sale of a timeshare are not eligible as a capital loss claim with the IRS.
Most states have opt-out clauses for timeshares. This allows for a buyer to change their mind for a short period of time after signing the contract.
In Florida, for example, buyers have 10 days to change their mind. The company must return their money within 20 days if a buyer changes their mind.
You are responsible for all associated travel costs. These can add up in no time when the whole family is vacationing.
This should be a consideration when buying a timeshare. Flights, gas, rental cars and insurance all need to be budgeted in.
If the timeshare is outside of the country you may have added expenses. This includes passport fees, travel, health insurance, and meal allowances during travel days.
It is wise to consult a lawyer specializing in timeshare sales. This will ensure you are aware of all fees. They will advise you of any expenses you may not be expecting.
Time is Money
Last year a timeshare seemed like a great idea. This year things have changed. You can no longer use the timeshare because of health or financial reasons.
Now you want out of the contract but don’t know what to do.
The first thing to remember is that timeshares are not real estate investments. It is unlikely that you will make money on the sale. In fact, most often sellers take a loss on the sale.
You Want Out
After consulting a lawyer, you have a few options available to try and sell your timeshare.
Timeshare exchange systems allow owners to trade theirs for another of equal value. This will open options for places you can vacation. Most timeshares include the exchange program in their initial contract. The company will include the first year in the sale but owners pay for later years.
Many looking to get rid of their timeshare will hire a reseller. The FTC warns sellers to do research to ensure everything is legal and above board.
There can be many hidden costs associated with the sale of your timeshare as well. This is especially true when outsourcing the sale.
Thousands of scams get reported yearly and consumers are often warned to be vigilant. It is important to read the contract and be aware of all clauses, fees, and charges in the small print.
Any contracts for timeshares in foreign countries are not protected by US laws. It is important to consult a professional with expertise in timeshares and international contracts.
Isn’t a Life Sentence
Owning a timeshare doesn’t have to be a life sentence. If you consult a timeshare lawyer to discuss your options, it is possible to free yourself from the stress.
Check out our blog for more information on freeing yourself from your unwanted timeshare.