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Timeshare Buyer Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about buying a timeshare resale or simply wondering how timeshare works? Before you buy a timeshare through a broker or timeshare resale company, read through these common timeshare questions. When you buy timeshare using a broker, you will benefit from the knowledge and experience of a licensed professional. Our team is also available to answer any questions you have about buying timeshare resales, as well as general timeshare questions.

See below for answers to timeshare buyer FAQs or call us at 877-884-9577 for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is timeshare? How does timeshare work?

A timeshare (or timesharing) is a form of vacation ownership. In the most traditional form, when you buy timeshare you essentially purchase the right to vacation one week every year at a specific timeshare resort. Timeshares offer more flexibility than typical vacations, and include options for points-based memberships and biennial usage. Additionally, many timeshare purchases come with the ability to exchange your week for a week at another resort, making timeshare a great option for many travelers.

What is the difference between a timeshare and a hotel?

A timeshare resort typically offers more space and more amenities than a traditional hotel. The average hotel room consists of a studio room with a small bathroom, and not much else. With a timeshare, you normally receive a condo-style unit with multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, a separate living room, dining area, and a full kitchen.

Most timeshare resorts also feature an array of amenities on the grounds of the resort. A daily schedule of on-site sporting, recreational, and social activities are available for both adults and children. Many resorts offer swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses, horseback riding, skiing, and numerous other amenities all on site.

How are timeshare prices determined?

The price of a timeshare is dependent upon a few different factors. If you plan on buying timeshare weeks, consider that these are priced according to a variety of elements including time of year, location, resort amenities, and size of the unit. Some resorts will only sell timeshare points, and are usually priced per-point. Additionally, a timeshare resale costs much less than one purchased directly from the resort developer.

Why are timeshare resales less expensive than buying from the resort?

Over 50% of the cost associated with buying timeshares directly from a resort development company is related to the sales and marketing of the timeshare property. That means, when buying timeshare direct from the resort, you are usually charged an over-inflated price.

If you buy a resale timeshare, your only expense is that of the Fair Market Value of the timeshare property. As a timeshare resale buyer, not only will you enjoy the use of the timeshare unit, but you will also gain an average savings of 30–70% off the developer’s original asking price.

Can I afford to buy a timeshare?

Before buying timeshare, take a moment to look at your finances and decide what you can afford. First you must determine how much you wish to pay for the initial purchase price. Many timeshares are available for financing, which may help offset this cost. Also remember, buying a timeshare resale will provide you with a much better value that buying from the resort.

Although most timeshares require you to pay an annual maintenance fee, it can be less expensive in the long run compared with paying hotel costs each year. Many timeshares require an annual maintenance fee of $500-$1,000, but that may cover the entire week for a two-bedroom condo. At a hotel, a similar suite could cost you at least $300 per night if not more.

How does timeshare exchanging work?

One of the best reasons to buy timeshares is the flexibility to exchange your week. As an owner, you can join a timeshare exchange company to trade your week with other timeshare owners. This flexibility means that you may return to your home resort year after year or trade for any of the thousands of affiliated resorts throughout the world. You can even alternate back and forth between the two options.

The most popular timeshare exchange companies are: RCI, Interval International, and DAE.

Some timeshare resorts have an internal exchange program, but most also offer the option to trade using an external company such as RCI or Interval International. Typically these third-party exchange companies require an additional membership fee but give you the option to cancel or renew every year.

What is the difference between buying timeshare for sale by owner and working with a timeshare broker?

When you buy timeshare for sale by owner, you will need to personally search through thousands of timeshare resales online. Once you decide on a resort, you will have to work directly with the timeshare owner to negotiate prices and complete the sale.

With a timeshare broker, you won’t have to search, negotiate, or worry about filing the paperwork. Your real estate broker will search through timeshares for sale on your behalf, and present you with the best available options, similar to buying a house with a broker. Then, they will negotiate with the buyer to provide you with the best possible offer. All you’ll have to do is sign the paperwork. When you buy timeshare with a real estate broker you can trust that you are working with a licensed professional rather than a scam timeshare company. Because brokers must follow state laws and guidelines in order to uphold their license, you can trust that your purchase will be completed correctly and lawfully.

Is timeshare financing available?

Yes. There are a variety of financing options available for most timeshare buyers. Simply call 877-884-9577 for more information on financing a timeshare.

What is the difference between deeded, leased, and licensed timeshare?

Most timeshare ownerships are either deeded or leased for a specific number of years.

Deeded Timeshare – Similar to a traditional real estate purchase, after you buy a deeded timeshare, you own it outright. It may be sold, rented or even willed to your heirs. There is no expiration date on a deeded timeshare. It is a perpetual contract.

Leased Timeshare – Leased timeshare (also called right-to-use) gives you the right to use a specific week or weeks at the property for a set number of years (usually 20-99). The right to use the property normally returns to the selling resort at the end of the lease period. If you buy a timeshare resale with a lease, be sure to ask how many years are left on the contract. Many resorts will let you renew the contract on the year it expires, but it is always a good idea to know before you make a purchase.

Licensed Timeshare – Generally, licensed timeshare requires joining a “vacation club”. By purchasing a membership to a vacation club, owners receive a number of points which they can then use to purchase vacations at various resorts. Some of the most well-known vacation clubs include Disney Vacation Club, Marriott Vacation Club, and Hilton Grand Vacations Club.

What are timeshare use periods?

There are four major types of timeshare use periods.

Fixed Weeks – Buying a fixed week timeshare allows you the use of the unit for that specific week each year for as long as you own the property. Fixed weeks generally start on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Floating Weeks – Buying a floating week timeshare allows you to use the unit anytime during the year based upon a resort’s availability.

Flex Time – This is similar to a floating week, but with some restrictions. Flex time refers to a season—winter flex or spring flex, for example—in which you may use your timeshare week. Some flex weeks will be described by industry lingo that defines certain periods during the year such as blue weeks and red weeks. High and low seasons vary from resort to resort, so flex time may be defined differently at specific locations.

What is the difference between timeshare season colors?

Each color reflects the overall desirability of a particular week at a timeshare resort in a sliding scale from red (peak season) to green (off-season).

What is the difference between a Five-Star resort and a Gold Crown resort?

These titles refer to ratings from timeshare exchange companies. A Five-Star Resort is the most desirable rating appointed to a resort in the Interval International system while a Gold Crown Resort is the most desirable rating in the Resort Condominium International (RCI) system.

What are maintenance fees?

After you buy timeshare, there are some small additional yearly expenses. Average maintenance fees range from $500 – $1,000 annually and are the owners’ shared cost of the upkeep of their unit, as well as the common grounds of the resort.

Do I need to hire a lawyer to handle the closing process?

You do not need to hire your own attorney when you buy timeshare. Timeshare closing companies can take charge of the closing process from beginning to end- including deed preparation, escrow of funds, estoppel certificate, closing statements and recording fees. They typically do all this for one low flat rate. Their work is scrupulously reviewed by in-house attorneys and guaranteed to be free and clear.

Timeshare Broker Services can refer you to a reliable, trustworthy timeshare closing company. Specializing in timeshare sales, these licensed and bonded title companies are selected on the basis of outstanding past performance and will provide security for both timeshare buyers and sellers, ensuring that the sale process goes smoothly. For more information, give us a call at 877-884-9577.

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