Timeshare: When your needs changePosted on: 10 December 2014 by 50connect editorial
Understanding what your timeshare is worth is crucial to whether you sell up or convert to points when your needs change.
Timeshares can provide fantastic value for money when paired with the right holidaymakers. For some people however, needs change and their once useful timeshare may no longer deliver good value for money and has become surplus to requirements. So, what are the options available and where do you begin to look if you want a change?
Assess the situation
Firstly, do you still plan on taking regular holidays? Do you also want to continue enjoying the high standards of quality set by timeshare properties? If yes is the answer then selling might not be the best option.
In most cases, timeshare owners consider selling either because they feel their week has become unsuitable to them or they are simply unable to travel abroad and can't use it. Selling may recoup some of the initial outlay but it won't always provide the best value.
What are the options available?
So, if you still want to enjoy regular holidays then part-exchanging your week for a more suitable alternative or converting it into timeshare points could be the way to go. Not only do they ensure continued quality but should reintroduce value and provide extra flexibility. For example, a couple who's children have flown the nest could convert their peak August week into points. On the assumption that the couple would now look to holiday outside of the peak summer season, their points could easily afford them 2 or 3 weeks each year whilst still only paying the original annual management fees for their one peak August week.
For others, travelling abroad may no longer be an option but that shouldn't prevent them from enjoying the benefits of timeshare. By exchanging your week to a resort closer to home the quality can continue. There are numerous award-winning resorts all over the UK, so if you would prefer something more local then this is the option for you.
However, if you answered no to the initial questions and you don't have any family members willing to take the timeshare on then selling is the next step.
Selling a timeshare
For many owners, it may come as a shock to learn that timeshares do not hold their value like a conventional property. Developers experience hefty marketing costs in the process of selling resorts and high profit margins are needed to make attractive returns for the original investors. This means that the actual value of any timeshare is generally much less than the original prices offered by the developer or marketing agent.
All is not lost though, you can still get some money back from your timeshare and hopefully you will have enjoyed many years of great holidays so should still be quids in.
Understanding what your timeshare is currently worth is crucial before setting an asking price. The value is usually determined by its: location, week number, size, quality & brand of the resort but ultimately, the return will be heavily dependent on how much a buyer is willing to pay.
To offer some perspective, timeshare brands such as: Hilton, Four Seasons, Marriott, De Vere and Anfi are all in higher demand on the resale market in some part due their quality but also because of the strength of their brand. Similarly, weeks around Christmas and New Year (Weeks 51 & 52) or during the peak summer holiday periods of July & August are also highly sought after as they offer superior value when compared with the cost of renting for the same peak period.
Choosing a reputable resale company
Finding a reputable company is key, regrettably there are a few scams out there actively target sellers although by following these points you’ll be sure to avoid them!
Beware of companies focusing only on sellers – There are a number of website which have the words “sell + timeshare” in their internet address. Clearly they are targeting sellers but how are they attracting the all-important buyers you’ll need to complete a transaction?
Stick to UK companies - Most scams can be traced back to Spain or mainland Europe even if they have offices in the UK, this is usually only a forwarding address and all calls will be redirected to Spain. Dealing with UK companies offers a greater level of protection.
TATOC & RDO – Companies with an affiliation to TATOC or RDO voluntary adhere to a code of ethics and have an active interest in upholding industry best practices.
Avoid Cold Callers – Where did they get your number from? Are they claiming to have an affiliation to another company your recognise? It’s all very murky stuff and whilst not every cold call is a scam, we are yet to hear of any reputable companies engaging in this practise.
Avoid Registration and Closing Fees – Never pay an upfront fee to simply either register your timeshare for sale or in the event that the company claim to have found a buyer. All reputable resale companies should offer a free-of-charge registration service and whilst some will charge for increased exposure on their website or advertising this isn’t suitable for everyone. If a company suggests that they have found a buyer but require you to pay a fee for the sale to complete then this is almost certainly a scam.
One reputable resale company is UK based Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket who are Europe's largest and only TATOC accredited timeshare resalers. Operating since 1996 they have a wealth of experience for buyers and sellers alike whilst also operating within UK and European Law.
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