Do you have a feeling like that burden of paying for a timeshare is too much on you? Is the happiness that used to come with vacations no longer there? Worry no more. I have compiled a list of some of the best ways which you can use to get out of a timeshare with less hassle.
7 Easy, Proven Ways to Get Out of a Timeshare
Since its origin in Europe in the 1960s, timeshares were embraced by vacationers who believed that they were a cheaper option compared to renting out rooms. Use of timeshares heightened in the early 1970s with the introduction of timeshare exchange companies.
However, with time, the demand for timeshares has decreased with more and more people wishing to get out of a timeshare.
A majority of people who love traveling buy timeshares as it offers them a permanent vacation solution which many may consider cheaper travel and convenient. There is no better feeling than imagining that you can have a tour without worrying where you will stay or how much the accommodation will cost.
Well, before we go any further, let’s first understand the meaning of a timeshare and what it does.
What is a Timeshare?
A timeshare, also referred to as vacation ownership, is an arrangement in which several individuals/parties co-own a property or the rights to use the said property for holidays. The owners get the privilege to use the property for some time every year for their vacations.
These properties are usually in the form of resort condominium units whereby several parties have the rights to use the condominium under a time-sharing plan.
Getting a place to stay during your vacation is always a hassle for many people and finding a way to solve that looks like a great idea. Owning a home where you can go for a vacation without worrying about the accommodation expenses sounds interesting.
Why Wish to Get Out of a Timeshare
Although millions of people own timeshares, a majority of them wish they can get out of those contracts. Many may wonder why the change of heart by so many individuals who initially went into these contracts willingly and happily.
Well, here are some reasons why most people long to get out these timeshare contracts:
• Change of Lifestyle
The fact that your lifestyle immensely has changed may have a significant effect on how you perceive things now from how you used to some years back.
What you used to enjoy 15 years ago may be very different from what you now love doing. All these changes may make you feel like you don’t need that timeshare anymore.
• A Shift in Priorities
Sometimes especially when we are young, our priorities are very different from what we will perceive important when we are a bit older. Having fun is what most millennials, under the 20s, and newly married couples with young kids think of instead of saving for retirement and investments.
When responsibilities increase, and you tend to think more about creating a real future, some of those decisions made while young may need to be re-evaluated.
• The Burden of the Service and Maintenance Fees
When signing into these contracts, the idea of cost-free vacations always seems so viable and economical. When later the bills for maintenance for the condominiums keep coming every year, with costs that keep on increasing, things are no longer the same.
The burden of owning that unit for your vacation days now starts to get the of you, and you loathe those payment dates. To many people, this is something that makes them wish they can get out of a timeshare.
• Realizing It Was a Mistake
Around 85% of people who own timeshares in the US, which they didn’t. The main reason being that after signing the contract, they realized it was not good a deal as they had expected or they had been told.
Many recognize that the expenses are perpetual and that you have to keep on paying them whether you go for the vacation or not. It becomes too much of a burden especially when it doesn’t meet your earlier expectations.
• Feeling Stuck
Having to go to the same vacation site one after the other can be tedious. Most companies will offer a timeshare scheme that gives you a week vacation spot on the same property for the entire period of the contract.
This may be fun in the first few years, but over time, many people feel that they want a change and wish they can change the contract.
Some other companies will allow you to trade your space for another space or at an extra cost in another resort, but still, it’s the same company and same rules.
Well, all these reasons and more may make you disappointed, and the question of “how to get out of a timeshare” may linger in your mind. Getting out a timeshare is never a walk in the park or as easy as you got into it.
The process may prove to be a great hassle for many people as it may involve a lot of paperwork, large amounts of money and in some cases legal battles. This process may discourage many people who would wish to get out of a timeshare and make them avoid it altogether.
With no further delay let’s explore the seven easy ways to get out of a timeshare which I believe will be helpful to you.
See Related: How to Stop Being Car Poor
List of 7 Ways To Get Out of a Timeshare
Getting out of a timeshare is doable. You aren’t completely stuck. These are some of the easiest (and most proven) ways to get out of a timeshare.
1. Avoiding the Need to Get Out of a Timeshare
Before you get into that contract and sign those papers, ensure you’ve asked all the questions about the timeshare and you are satisfied. Make sure you determine whether the agreement includes a viable exit plan.
Find out if the owner or seller will agree to take back the property and cancel any unwanted timeshare. Are the annual fees perpetual or do they end after paying for a certain period? And does the scheme offer a genuine resale value?
If you are satisfied with the answers you get, then sign the contract but if not, avoid it and don’t get into a bad deal.
Just like in the real estate industry which is full of secrets that your real estate agent won’t tell you, you need to extensively do your homework about timeshares.
This way, you will save yourself from unnecessary future costs. If you have a timeshare, look at your contract to see if anything prohibits you from becoming an Airbnb host. This can help offset the annual fees that you need to pay. This can be a great option if you are in a bind.
2. Sell the Timeshare
The first thing people think of is selling the timeshare. Although it is the most viable and economical way, most often time than less, it can prove extremely difficult to sell a timeshare. If you have someone to sell your timeshare to, the better. In some instances, some timeshares do practically well and have a reasonable resale value in the market.
The number of fees and the location of the property plays a major role in determining how much you can sell your timeshare or if it can even get a buyer for starters. Although sometimes it’s difficult to have someone buy it at the desired rate, you can get agencies who can resell the timeshare for you.
Also, you can use various sites that offer timeshare resale services. But before you list your timeshare on the site, you must first identify if the website is free or it charges for the listings.
Some websites may cost a considerable amount and its prudent to analyze the fine print and know exactly how much they charge.
This will help you avoid some any unnecessary and unwanted charges. There are multiple sites which will offer free listing, and you can try using some of those.
3. Cancel the Contract
When desiring to get out of a timeshare the first thing you should do if you cannot sell it, is to go back to your contract and re-read it. Currently many if not most contracts have a recession period also known as a retraction or cooling off period. This is a period after one sign the contract, during which a person can cancel the contract without any questions asked.
Although the period is in most cases a few days, and some requirements should be met before the termination, it’s time you can cancel a timeshare. One can check with their state’s attorney general if it’s unclear to you on the terms in the contract and find out exactly what you need to do.
In case you recently signed up for timeshare purchase and you feel you like you don’t want to continue, then this is one of the best ways to annul it.
Something worth noting is that the contract annulment will require a written notice and therefore you should prepare to correspond to the timeshare company and keep a copy of the signed notice.
4. Giving Away the Timeshare Ownership
In some instances, selling a timeshare can be incredibly hard. Due to the location and the cost of maintenance and service fees, some timeshares may lack any value in the market, and one may not find a buyer.
If this is the case for you, and you feel the timeshare is weighing you down, you can decide to give it away. Although sometimes it may even be difficult to give away a timeshare, there are some few ways you can try.
You can give it to a friend, or look for some charities who would accept timeshare donations.
There are also some timeshare forums which help to connect people who want to get rid of their timeshares and those who wish to acquire one for free.
Although this method will not get some cash into your wallet, it will relieve you of that annoying and exhaustive annual fees. It may seem uneconomical to many since you paid a lot of money to get that timeshare, but it can be worthwhile in some other angle.
When you think of the recurrent annual fees that you will save yourself from your yearly budget, it may make sense. This is an option to simply cut your losses and move on with your life.
5. Request the Company to Buy it Back
Getting the company to buy back your timeshare may not always happen but, some companies do buy the timeshare although at a reduced price. You definitely will not get the full refund of your initial capital, but if you can get it out off your bills, then it’s worth the try.
When signing the timeshare contracts, you should always read all the sections in the contract to see if they include the terms of buybacks. If your contract includes that option, then you can always call the company if you have exhausted all other means of getting out of a timeshare.
The question on how to get out of a timeshare contract has been bothering so many minds. But, if you do your due diligence and read the deal well, then you can always avoid all these questions.
It is wise to ensure that the terms and conditions of the contract are suitable for you and that you have an exit strategy.
6. Use an Attorney
Wondering of how to legally get out of a timeshare contract? Well, here is a way. Any lawfully binding contract also has an option of getting out of it legally.
One way of doing this is to use an attorney to help you work this out. The process may be long and sometimes expensive running up to a few thousand dollars, but it is possible.
If at any given time you have upgraded your timeshare may be by adding the time of visit or taking other offers, it would mean that you have several contracts that you need to deal with. Before you can legally come out of that timeshare contract, all the contracts tied up to your timeshare must be annulled.
Get an attorney who specializes in this type of contract law and ensures that they understand what they are doing to avoid hefty legal fees that will bear no fruits.
Ensure that the attorney guarantees their services so that you don’t continue losing your money to cunning attorneys who will not deliver.
7. Use a Timeshare Exit Company
Timeshare exit Companies are organizations that don’t seek to sell your timeshare but who will try to dissolve the contract legally. These companies may be expensive, but for some people who want to get out of a timeshare, the cost doesn’t matter.
The timeshare exit industry is awash with conmen, and thus you need to be vigilant and ensure that the company you’re dealing with is genuine. Some of the best timeshare exit companies include Resort Release, Primo Management Group and Timeshare Exit Team to mention but a few.
I would consider using timeshare exit companies a better way than using a single attorney since timeshare exit companies will have a team of experts working together to solve your timeshare problem.
Since the company specializes in these kinds of contracts, it knows the ins and outs of such cases and how to handle them.
Make sure that you identify a company that has a history of getting people out of these agreements wholly and legally.
Accurately and exhaustively do your research before you commit to paying the legal fees to ensure that you get the best deal out of it.
Why Timeshares Do Not Work Financially
A general look at a timeshare scheme may seem a viable idea which also sounds economical.
However, there are multiple reasons which make a timeshare, not one of these wise financial choices. Reasons why timeshares are not economically viable include:
• Timeshares are Costly
One of the major reasons why timeshares do not work financially is that they are expensive. The average initial cost of many timeshare units is about $15,000 and can go way beyond that.
After the initial cost, there are also some extra annual maintenance costs and service fees charged by the owner or by the managing company. All these costs make timeshare an expensive venture.
• Not Using It
Many people after buying the timeshare, ends up not using the property at all or use it just for a few times. Not using the property may be due to lack of time or even change of preferences for the owner.
The annual costs will continually rack up despite you not using the property. This can end up becoming a complete sunk cost.
• Never Appreciates in Value
The value of your timeshare will not increase at all. This is contrary to many other real estate investments whose value keep on growing year after year.
The owner of the timeshare buys time and not the property.
• Timeshares Do Not Generate Income
With timeshare, there are only expenses and not income. Unlike other commercial real estate investments which generate revenue to the owner, a timeshare does not.
• A Timeshare is Not an Asset
Owning a timeshare is very different from holding a real estate property or buying a vacation home outrightly.
With assets, one can sell the asset at a higher price than they bought it but with timeshares, even to get back a refund of the total cost is almost impossible.
Conclusion on How to Get Out of a Timeshare
If you own a timeshare, you might feel stuck without any options. That’s not true. You have plenty of options. Take action to better position yourself and your real estate allocation. One option to recoup some money is to read the contract of your timeshare to see if anything prohibits you from becoming an Airbnb host.
You can try to book your timeshare for a week. Then, rent it to some vacationers.
If you are thinking about getting into a timeshare, I suggest that you strongly weigh your options on flexibility and how you want to put your hard earned dollars to work. Timeshare salespeople are usually aggressive and persuasive. There are plenty of firms out there that will help you make the right decision about your future.
I hope this guide on how to get out of a timeshare has offered valuable insights. Share with me your experience with timeshares in the comment section.
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