Don’t Get Sucked Into a Timeshare Trap
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Before you get tempted to buy a timeshare with their presentation, make sure you have all the facts.
What is a Timeshare?
A timeshare is a type of ownership whereby a group of people share use of a property for a specific period.
There are several types of timeshares:
- Fixed week: Basically buyers own the rights to the property for a specific amount of time each year.
- Floating: Buyers have some freedom to choose when they use the property. They may have to compete with others for popular times of the year.
- Points system: Instead of being tied to one spot, buyers can use their annual points on a property that is a part of the vacation club's inventory.
Please note that timeshare owners can also pay annual fees whether they use it or not.
The Pressures of Timeshare Presentation
How does a timeshare presentation work? What can you expect from them
We found out firsthand a few years back when we went on vacation
- Offer/Prize: People don't typically go to a timeshare presentation unless there's an incentive. When we checked in to our hotel there a desk clerk who shared offers including 2 tickets to Universal Studios. We wanted the tickets and all we had to do was show up for a the presentation. It sounded simple so we went.
- Tour exceeds estimate: No matter how long they tell you the tour will be, it's usually a couple of hours.
- Pressure, pressure, and more pressure: We went through a total of 4 sales people, each whom had different job titles. Each of them using a different tactic to get us to make a deal and sign. They pitched the time share as a real estate purchase, but you had to make it that day or it would be gone.
- Different prices to get a sale: Looking back, it's amazing how much the prices kept getting lowered. It started from $30,000 then to $15,000 to $10,000 and finally we were offered a ‘deal' for $5,000.
We left the tour and claimed our Universal Studio passes. The rest of the vacation was great and we put the tickets to good use.
We also decided then and there NEVER to do a timeshare presentation again.
It's not a good deal. You're better off using rentals like Airbnb or
HomeAway then getting stuck with a timeshare.
Stuck with a Timeshare, What Now?
What if you already own a timeshare and it's a financial burden than the dream vacation spot that you imagined, what can you do?
You can try and sell your timeshare and see if you can offload it.
There are a few things you can do to maximize your sale price, such as:
- Be prepared. Have all of your documents with you before you put up a listing. It does make a difference whether you have a right to use or a deeded ownership.
- Price it right. Depending on why you're selling, how you price your unit can either help you make a quicker sell or can give a more money in your pocket. If you want to sell it quicker and just get out of it, you have to be ultra-competitive with prices. If you have more leeway, you can wait for a better deal. However if your unit is small and your time share is during off-peak season, you may not get the deal you're anticipating.
Thoughts on Time Shares
How many of you have went to a timeshare presentation? How did it turn out? If you own a time share, do you use it regularly?