This is another question owners ask that surprises me. Part of the presentation we give states you can use it, rent it, gift it, will it, or sell it. I left America almost 12 years ago. I remember a popular radio personality pitching on air that you can never get out of a timeshare contract. He would explain that you would be paying management fees forever. This would include you, your children, your children's' children and so on.
He would then give a commercial for a company in the Denver area.This company would give seminars showing owners how to get out of their timeshare. While at the seminar they would show how much money you would spend in management fees over the next 30 years. However if you paid them between $5,000 - $20,000 dollars they would take your timeshare and make sure you never pay management fees again.
I actually met a few guys that used to do the same thing in Spain and the UK. They thought, as did I, that it was amazing people would be gullible enough to believe this story and pay them so much money to give their property away.
So how can we sell or give away a timeshare that we own? In America, you buy a fee simple ownership. This is an ownership forever or in perpetuity. You own this just like you own your house. You receive a General Warranty Deed, Deed of Trust, and Promissory note.
The Warranty deed is like the title to your car. Its recorded in a court house and given to you after the promissory note is paid in full. The promissory note says you promise to pay the person or organization loaning the money to purchase. The Deed of Trust basically says if you don't pay off the promissory not, the deed of trust gives the power to foreclose on the property. These are all very basic definitions. Always consult an attorney when it comes to matters of law.
Can I Sell My Timeshare?
One of the problems with selling timeshares is that banks consider them a high risk loan. They generally have no interest in loaning money on them. This is why it's so hard to get your money back and why it is impossible to make a profit. One of the first things to make sure of is that your timeshare is paid in full. If not, make sure the money you receive from the sale is enough to pay off the loan. You are the signer on the promissory note. Unless the new buyer can assume the existing loan, you are liable until the loan is paid in full.
Everything has been recorded in the court house of the county your resort is located. This is one way to help you sell as ownership is public record. You could go to the court house, obtain a list of all owners and get in touch with them informing them you have a week in that resort for sale. If you have a fixed week, your best prospects would be the clients that own the week before yours and after yours in the same unit.
You or your attorney can obtain a Quit Claim Deed. A Quit Claim Deed says that you "quit" your ownership and all interest you hold in the property. A warning on this. A quit claim deed does not say that you own anything, it just says that you are giving all that you own of the property to someone else.
Take the quit claim deed to the courthouse and record it. The new owner will receive the original and you no longer own the timeshare or are responsible for any of the management fees. It would probably be wise to contact the ownership company and let them know who the new owners are. They might have a fee for putting the ownership in somebody else's name.
You could also offer owner carry terms. This is where you loan the new owners the money to purchase and they pay you every month until the agreed upon sum is paid in full. If this is the case, you are still liable for the management fees if the new owner defaults on the loan or doesn't pay the fee. Please consult an attorney for a transaction such as thisIf you purchased in the UK, it is very similar to the steps above. But again, please call an attorney to guide you through the steps. An Attorney will ensure you are no longer liable for anything having to do with the timeshare.
If you have purchased a club the laws can be different. An ownership for a set number of years in called a leasehold estate. Contact the company you purchased from as they will have rules and fees to change the ownership name. You may be liable for the management fee if the new owner does not pay.
Some companies are changing the rules for resales. They are not offering the same service or product if you purchase a resale. This is being done in an effort to stop resales. They want perspective purchasers to go to the timeshare company to purchase. At a starting cost of $20,000USD it is understandable. I don't know why this would make a difference to someone paying a quarter of the price these companies charge or paying nothing at all. Again, always retain a real estate attorney and know the laws before doing anything. Always better to be safe than sorry.
**Authors note: Timeshare is known by many names including but not limited to timeshare, timesharing, vacation ownership, holiday ownership, interval ownership, vacation insurance.