Despite what you may have heard or believe, a timeshare doesn’t have to be a burdensome money pit if (or when) you decide it’s no longer wanted. Although a host of factors, including your timeshare’s condition, its location, the amount of time you’ve owned it and even the time of year you decide to get rid of it, all affect the level of difficulty you might encounter offloading it, there are several options for you to consider that enable you to part ways with your property and stop timeshare fees while keeping your sanity, as well as your finances, intact.
If you have recently purchased your timeshare (within the past few weeks), there is a good chance that your contract has a clause that explicitly guarantees you the right to cancel the contract terms (“right of rescission”) with little to no penalties within a certain number of days following the timeshare sale. There are also multiple consumer protection laws that shield buyers from unscrupulous, forceful sellers and/or your own regret. Typically, these laws offer a longer “cooling off” period than most contract terms (when present) and can be a viable way for you to get out of timeshare obligations and receive your money back. Check with your state’s Attorney General Office or Consumer Protection Office to better understand the laws protecting you, as they vary by state.
If canceling your contract is no longer an option for you, you can always try to sell your timeshare. This is most successful when you have paid off your mortgage and own your timeshare “free and clear.” It also helps if you do not overestimate your timeshare’s value or expect to make money on a sales deal. Indeed, your timeshare’s value resides not in the amount of money that it has cost you or that you believe it’s worth, but rather in the experiences it has provided you over the time you’ve owned it. Thinking of it in these terms will allow you to have realistic expectations and not become discouraged or angered when your timeshare most probably sells for a lower price than you originally paid for it. In addition, try to list your property during the time of year that’s most desirable for your location (i.e., warmer months for waterside properties and colder months for snowy destinations). But even selling it during the off-season for $1 is preferable to having annual fees and maintenance costs on a property you don’t want or can’t use. Similarly, you can choose to give your timeshare to a family member, friend, charity or, sometimes, even the resort company itself, allowing him/her/it to take over the yearly fees (as well as any remaining mortgage payments) for you.
Of course, working with a reputable timeshare cancellation attorney or other professional timeshare exit agency can provide further guidance for your individual circumstances. Our team at Step Zero can help with everything from identifying timeshare contract loopholes to stopping timeshare fees and getting out of your timeshare altogether. Contact us for more information.