What is my timeshare worth?

Q. I want to sell my timeshare.  What should I ask for it?

A. The answer might be a slap in the face.  Especially if you still have a loan balance.  Loans have to be paid off before you can transfer it.  The fact is, very few timeshares are worth anything on the resale market.  The main reason being is because the market is saturated with timeshares.  Not just Wyndham.  Almost all timeshares have been on the resale market at one time or another.  Some are harder to get than others for a number of reasons.  One is Right of First Refusal (ROFR).  That gives the developer the option to buy the timeshare from the owner for the price that the buyer agreed to.  DVC has this in their contract.  If someone sells their DVC contract to a private buyer for $10k, Disney can choose to exercise their ROFR and buy the contract for $10k.  The buyer gets their money back and Disney pays the seller.  If a buyer wants to buy a DVC contract on the resale market, they have to outbid Disney.  It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s usually at a price close to retail.

Wyndham does not have a ROFR in most contracts.  As far as I know, the only contracts that have that clause, are Presidential Reserve contracts.   So why does Disney have it and Wyndham doesn’t?  The answer is simple.  Disney has fewer locations, which means less available inventory.  In order to keep selling, they have to buy back contracts.  Plus, Disney has a following.  Disney could put some sparkle on dog poo and market it as Mickey poo and people would buy it.  They probably wouldn’t even need to add the sparkle.  Wyndham doesn’t have either a lack of inventory or a cult following.  Neither do most of the timeshare industries out there.  Wyndham has a plethora of inventory to sell and doesn’t need to buy anything back.  The Ovations program has gotten them a lot of free inventory to sell.  Plus, every time they open a new resort, they have more inventory to sell.  Presidential Reserve inventory is much more limited.  As of this writing, there are over 300 PR suites.  Compare that to the 25,000 available units in the entire system and you’ll understand why they use ROFR on PR contracts.

Since Wyndham is one of the larger ones, it makes sense there is a lot more inventory on the market than the smaller systems like DVC and WorldMark.  They have a lot of inventory floating around out there.  Supply and demand affect prices.  During the vacation season, prices are higher.  Since everyone is vacationing, they are not going to sell until after they are done vacationing for the year. Then you have the people that decide, after being on vacation, that they need more points.  So, the demand is high, and supply is low.  If you want to sell, May to August is usually the best time. 

Before trying to sell on the market place, check with friends and family.  Remember, VIP and other “perks” that come with retail purchases, do not transfer.  Read my “Retail versus Resale” article to find out the differences and limitations of resale.  Since those perks do not transfer, you cannot ask the buyer to pay what you paid for it.  It’s like trying to sell a car for the price you paid when it was brand new.  You have to price it significantly lower.  Go to eBay, and look for contracts like yours.  If you own 700,000 CWA contracts, look for SOLD CWA contracts.  Typically, the lower maintenance fee contracts go for the higher prices.  National Harbor, Bal Hai, Canterbury, etc, usually go for more than CWA or other resorts.  Margaritaville brings in a few more dollars as well.   Look at the descriptions to see if the buyer paid the closing costs and transfer fees.  If the seller pays closing costs, the price of the auction usually goes higher than one where the buyer pays.  You might get disappointed, but don’t get discouraged.  After looking at the eBay listings, decide if you will cover closing and transfer costs.  Personally, I wouldn’t.  If it qualifies Ovations will take it back, at no cost to you and the transfer is much faster.  The faster the transfer, the fewer maintenance fees you have to pay while waiting for the transfer to complete.  200-500k point contracts are easier to sell.  Once you get above 500k, the market gets smaller, because not as many people want or need that many points.  If you have a small contract, it may not be worth paying closing costs and transfer fees.  I would look into Ovations.  Once you have a buyer, you have to find a closing company.  I personally used LT Transfers and they worked great.  There are others out there.  Look for reviews from real people on Facebook groups.  Keep in mind, some of those group members might be in the business of selling and may give you a false review. 

You could also try one of Wyndham’s approved resellers.  These companies have already been vetted by Wyndham.  There are a lot of scam companies out there.  Using a Wyndham preapproved one, means less work determining if they are legit.  You will still want to check to see customer reviews and how they feel about the service they were given.  The two companies are Fidelity Real Estate and Timeshare Broker Associates.

I hope I didn’t disappoint you too much.  Whatever you decide to do, make sure you do your research.  There are too many scam companies out there that will take your money and run.  Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.  Never pay anything upfront.  Even if they say its an “Administrative cost”. Wyndham’s preapproved sellers do not charge upfront fees, so there is no reason for you to pay an upfront fee. 

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