There will of course be situations where owners may need to dispose of their timeshare/points. However, as Timeshare is regarded as a long-term investment in holidays, as opposed to an investment in real estate, it would be unrealistic to rely on realising the original purchase price. Bear in mind that some resorts/unit sizes are far more popular than others and ; as sales depend on current supply and demand it is not always possible to guarantee a date for resale.
- If you are thinking about selling your timeshare or points, you should make a note of the following:
- Timeshare is not a financial investment and it is generally unrealistic to assume you will sell for the original purchase price
- Sales rely on supply and demand and it may take time to find a buyer
- Before selling, check that your maintenance fees are up-to-date. Failure to do so could result in repossession
- You should also make sure that the membership certificate – or escritura document – is available
- If you own points, check the resale procedures with the developer as you may need to transfer the points back to a week before selling – this process can take some time
How to sell through the escritura system
‘Escritura’ is the Spanish/Portuguese word for a deed or document, and this system of timeshare is often used in those countries. Transferring ownership through an escritura deed is not complicated but should be carried out before a notary – the notary normally retains the original and provides an authorised copy to be given to the new purchaser.
What is the club trust system?
The trust system is common in the United Kingdom but is also recognised elsewhere in the world. A trust is a legal obligation which is imposed on a person to hold or deal with specified assets for the benefit of others. To sell through the trust system, you simply need to complete the ‘Form of Surrender and Request for Transfer’ which is normally printed on the reverse side of the resort membership certificate and return it to the resort/trustee with the appropriate fee.
How do I sell my timeshare or points?
- In the first instance you should contact your resort to find out if they operate a resale programme
- If they do not, you can sell your timeshare privately, or through a resale company
- Resale is covered by the new Directive (introduced February 2011) and companies are not permitted to take any form of upfront payment. They must also provide a 14 day cooling off period
- RDO has a number of resale companies in membership, all of which have signed up to a Code of Ethics:
- They are not permitted to take any form of mandatory upfront payment from sellers
- They must offer all buyers a cooling off period
- They may not make cold calls
- They must not falsely claim that they have a buyer ready to acquire a seller’s timeshare
- The resale company you decide to do business with will take you through the sales process and will answer any questions you may have
There are many companies that do not offer the same levels of protection as RDO members and you should be very wary if:
- A company cold calls you and claims that your telephone number was provided by your resort, an exchange company, RDO or even came from a European listing of timeshare owners. This will not be the case – your contact details are protected by law
- The company claims to have a buyer lined up
- The company promises to pay an unusually high price for your timeshare
- You are asked to pay an upfront fee for legal, registration or administrative purposes. This is now illegal
- You are pressured into signing up for a holiday club or discount travel club in return for your timeshare. Contrary to their promises, you may find that the resale company has not taken ownership of your timeshare and you will continue to be liable for the maintenance fee
- A firm of solicitors calls you out of the blue and asks for an upfront payment to help you obtain a refund of a sum of money you paid to a resale company which has failed to deliver the services it promised