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.
The Pressures of Timeshare Presentation
How do time share presentation work? We found out ourselves a few years back when we went on vacation in Florida.
- 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, we put the tickets to good use, and I learned more about time shares.
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?
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