Owning a timeshare ensures excellent vacations with your family without the hassle of looking for available resorts and rentals every year. A timeshare offers many more benefits you can fully enjoy as long as you maintain the contract.
However, things do not go as smoothly as expected. You may want to cancel the timeshare for several reasons that we will discuss in this article. Amid all this, the first question that would pop up in your mind would be if there is any cost to be paid for a timeshare cancellation. So, the brief answer to this is yes!
Keep reading below to find out the costs of exiting a timeshare and other critical things you should know when canceling one.
Why People Want To Get Out Of A Timeshare
Timeshare is a great property ownership contract that guarantees enjoyable vacations at the same location every year. Having said that, you may want to come out of a timeshare contract due to the following circumstances:
You May Be Left Unaware Of Unpleasant Information
Hidden terms and fake promises are common problems people incur as timeshare buyers. Sales representatives prefer keeping you uninformed of important property information that may prevent you from signing the contract. Once you have entered the contract and handed over the money, their lies come to you as a great shock.
For example, in many cases, the representatives promise to renovate the timeshare and provide it in a better condition to you. However, there are no changes made to the property, leaving the promise unfulfilled.
The representatives also mislead you regarding the property’s profit vs. loss and good vs. bad aspects. They show an attractive business model different from what it turns out to be. Some representatives even give you hope to generate income from timeshare by renting it out for the public. Such rental programs turn out to be scams in most cases. And if it is true, you end up investing additional time and effort in finding suitable clients for renting your property safely.
Also, hidden terms and conditions can immediately change your mind about discontinuing the timeshare contract.
You May Face Increased Expenses
As you know, owning a timeshare requires you to pay maintenance and annual fees, utility bills, and taxes, even if you do not go there for vacations. The increase in fees and taxes adds to your timeshare expenses every year. How long you can afford these expenses depends on your current budget. You may want to get rid of the timeshare when it becomes too difficult to accommodate these expenses in your budget.
Similarly, traveling costs may also affect the overall timeshare expenses. If traveling to the timeshare gets expensive, there is no point in staying in the contract any longer. You can search for any other less costly timeshare instead.
Change In Family Members Or Their Choices
Reasons to exit a timeshare also include changes in the number of family members. Maybe you have to find a bigger resort when your family grows with children or additional members. Similarly, a big resort will cost you heavily if some members move to other places and can not join you on vacations. Instead, you should switch to a less spacious resort to avoid unnecessary expenses. In both cases, canceling a timeshare becomes inevitable.
Families can also get bored visiting the same resort for every vacation, showing interest in other locations. So, those family priorities also compel you to quit the current timeshare and sign a contract for a new one.
The vacation schedule as per the timeshare may not always match your schedule. Also, the rules and regulations might be inflexible in some timeshares that you decide to terminate the contract at any cost. This situation can happen to anyone, even if they are happy with the resort and its management. In this case, only the inconvenience of coping with the timeshare schedule leads to contract cancellation.
How You Can Exit A Timeshare
If you have finally decided to get rid of timeshare ownership, scroll down to acknowledge the ways to cancel this contract.
Check If Your Rescission Period Is In Effect
Exiting a timeshare is most convenient when the contract is still in its rescission period. This period refers to the time frame offered to a timeshare buyer for canceling the ownership contract without incurring a financial loss. The length of this period depends on the location of the timeshare. Usually, it lasts around 3 to 15 days.
So, if your rescission period is not over, you have the opportunity to contact the timeshare providers and let them know about your cancellation plan. Check out the contract documents to confirm the duration of your rescission period.
Once you are sure the rescission period is in effect, get in touch with your timeshare company representatives as quickly as possible. You will need to write a formal letter stating your matter and asking them to end the ownership. This letter should be sent to the company’s concerned department.
If you are not aware of their mail address, look for it in the rescission policy or contact your company to guide you on this. Many companies keep rescission mail addresses hidden deliberately to prevent buyers from canceling a timeshare. Therefore, every timeshare buyer should know the company’s mail address before entering the contract.
See If Deed Back Program Is Available
Many resort developers offer a deed back program according to which you can give your timeshare back to them safely. The terms and conditions for this program are included in the contract papers. So, read the documents carefully to see whether you have this option. Also, make sure you qualify for this program. Clients with due payments and loans may not be entertained.
If you are fit for the deed back program, you can immediately contact the developers to express your concern. Make sure to clear your dues before applying for the exit.
Sell Your Timeshare
Missed the rescission period? No problem, you can sell the timeshare. You can find many buyers on the resale market both online and offline.
When deciding to sell it, demand suitable rates. If you are not sure about the worth of your timeshare, consider the pricing of other timeshares in the same location and having similar areas and amenities. Keep the current condition of your timeshare property in mind when deciding its worth.
A sincere tip is keeping the price low to attract more buyers. Your focus should be selling the timeshare quickly instead of recovering your expenses. Another tip is to choose the most popular real estate sites to sell your timeshare, as these sites have more genuine visitors.
Hire An Attorney
When the previous strategy fails, you would need professional assistance to exit the timeshare ownership. So, hire a licensed attorney knowledgeable enough to understand your case and provide an effective solution. Avoid choosing a random professional for this task. Instead, ask your acquaintances to recommend someone who boasts a high success rate in similar cases.
Since lawyers have more knowledge about property and contract laws, they can effectively get you out of timeshare ownership.
Reach Out To A Timeshare Exit Company
You can also hire a timeshare exit company to get out of this complicated property ownership. Such companies use their resources to rid frustrated clients of their timeshares.
However, many companies are frauds too. They guarantee 100% results but disappear soon after receiving the upfront fees from the clients. Some companies also make you sign contract after contract describing them as a procedure to cancel the timeshare. Consequently, your time and money are wasted without getting the desired results.
Opt for a reliable company, preferably recommended by acquaintances, to avoid scams. Moreover, ask them some critical questions for personal satisfaction before hiring them. You can ask them about the time frame within which they can complete the intended job. Also, inquire about the payment security plan in case they fail to cancel the timeshare.
Things To Avoid Doing When Working With A Timeshare Cancellation Company
Canceling a timeshare after the rescission period is more difficult than it seems. When searching for a timeshare exit company, you will come across a plethora of options, out of which only a few companies would be genuine. The rest of the companies are scams as they do not have licensed professionals or effective resources.
Even a company that appears to be genuine can trick you at any point during the cancellation process. So, always be alert for red flags and never make the following mistakes when working with a timeshare exit company.
Do Not Stop Paying Timeshare Fees
While the company works for your case, they may ask you to stop following the timeshare fee structure and stop paying further to the resort. However, this action is completely illegal and useless. There is no point in stopping the payment. In case they fail to get you out of the contract, you will have to pay all the unpaid fees and bills until the next cancellation strategy.
So, if your company asks you to stop the fee payment, take it as a warning. Either the company may be inefficient or a scam.
Do Not Pay Too Much In Advance
Real companies do not ask for a large sum of money before showing success. Instead, fake companies usually follow this fraudulent scheme. They collect huge upfront costs in the guise of legal expenses. You may also want to pay money immediately to get rid of the timeshare ownership. However, doing so would be your biggest mistake that would make timeshare cancellation more complicated for you.
No matter the company’s claims regarding timeshare cancellation, you should not trust them blindly. You will have nothing but regrets if the company escapes.
Do Not Provide Unnecessary Information
There is no need to open up about your personal information or information about your other properties and investments. So, if you find the company highly interested in obtaining irrelevant information, this can be a red flag.
Companies usually trap people to get private information through phone calls and emails. Later, they use that information to attempt malicious practices.
Average Cost Of Exiting A Timeshare
Exiting a timeshare not only requires effort and time but money as well. Now that you know what methods are available to cancel this ownership let’s look at the expected costs required for each method.
Cost Of Rescinding A Timeshare
According to the general rescission law, you can withdraw from timeshare ownership within a certain time window without paying extra. So, if you are availing of the rescission period, you will be glad to know that this method is cost-free.
However, if you choose to send the cancellation letter via a certified mail service, it will cost you around $3 to $4 per letter. Other than that, no fees will be requested by the timeshare developers.
Cost Of Giving Timeshare Back To The Resort
When accepting your request to quit your timeshare ownership, timeshare developers charge you a fee. This fee ranges from $500 to $2000, depending on many factors, including the property’s location.
Cost Of Selling Timeshare On Resale Market
A timeshare loses its value significantly when sold via the resale market. Therefore, you incur a hefty loss with this method of timeshare cancellation.
The resale sites charge $50 to $150 for advertising your timeshare. Also, most buyers are unwilling to pay higher for timeshares as these are considered poor-value properties.
At first, the sites charge advertising fees to bring your timeshare into public knowledge. What is worse is that people end up getting as low as $1 for their timeshares. So, expect low rates for your timeshare.
Cost Of Attorney And Timeshare Exit Company
This is the most expensive way to come out of a timeshare legally. The cost of hiring attorneys depends on their individual demands.
Hiring a timeshare exit company costs around $200 to $15,000. Factors like the complexity of the case, the company’s caliber, and the attorneys’ involvement affect the overall costs. Exit companies working with licensed attorneys charge higher but are considered more reliable.
Types Of Timeshares You Can Exit
Timeshares allow you to enjoy vacations yearly without searching for and booking a resort beforehand. When you buy a timeshare, you get ownership of that vacation property according to a predefined set of rules.
Timeshares can be of three types, each designed to meet different requirements and offer different vacation schedules. Let’s discover the characteristics of different types of timeshares.
If you buy a fixed-week timeshare, you will be allowed to stay at the resort for the same week every year. The week will be decided when signing the contract. Similarly, the rest of the 51 weeks will be reserved for other owners.
The best thing about this type of timeshare is that you do not need to worry about the resort being booked for others during your period. However, a disadvantage associated with fixed-week timeshare is that you can not adjust the week during others’ periods. If you permanently want to change the week, changes in the contract must be made, which can be a time-consuming and head-scratching task.
As the name suggests, this timeshare refers to the system in which you are not bound to a specific week. Each year, you will be able to select any week of your choice and convenience from a specific time frame or season. This type of timeshare allows for a flexible traveling schedule.
The owners of the floating-week timeshare have to book the resort beforehand. The resort can be very busy in some seasons, making it hard to reserve a timeshare for your vacations. Therefore, booking the resort a long time before your vacation is better.
This system requires points (used as currency) to use the timeshare. The resort developers allot you a certain amount of timeshare points at the time of the contract. With these points, you can use the same resort and choose from multiple resorts at different locations. Hence, you can enjoy vacations at different resorts every year. Additional points can be purchased to book expensive resorts.
One thing to keep in mind is that you can utilize these points for point-based timeshares only. This system is becoming increasingly popular in the timeshare industry. However, many resorts still operate on traditional cash-based contracts.
Things You Need To Know About A Timeshare To Avoid Cancellation
It takes only a yes to purchase a timeshare. However, several things, like finances, time, and effort, go into terminating that contract.
We also agree that exiting a timeshare may become inevitable at some stage for you. What is better and safer is to make the decision to buy a timeshare carefully so you do not regret it later and exhaust yourself trying to break the contract.
Next time you buy a timeshare, pay attention to the following pointers to make a well-informed decision and save yourself from the difficulties of cancellation.
Be Aware of All Timeshare Expenses
As discussed earlier, most timeshare exits occur due to increasing resort expenses. So, when you sign a contract, go over the fee structure carefully.
Ask the sales representative to explain all the estimated fees required to pay as a timeshare owner. Also, ask them about the expected annual rise in the overall fees. Moreover, be clear about the payment schedule to make sure you can always pay timeshare costs on time. Some timeshare companies incorporate a strict payment schedule that hardly fits the budget of many buyers.
Choose The Right Type Of Timeshare
As an owner of a timeshare, you will have an entire week to spend at the resort with your family and friends. No other owner will be allowed to share the space during that period. You need to think about your traveling schedule and choose a timeshare accordingly.
Avoid the fixed-week system if you are not willing to visit the resort during the same time of the year for every vacation. Go for the floating-week system instead. For a more flexible schedule, opt for a multi-destination point-based timeshare.
Time commitment is essential to maintain your ownership. So, make sure you are always available during the time allowed for your timeshare.
Do Not Consider Timeshares As A Source Of Income
Many people buy a timeshare, thinking it will generate income in the future. Later, when they know it is not an investment, they decide to get rid of it.
A timeshare is a vacation property entirely different from a real estate property. This property has multiple owners that share the ownership for a particular time window every year till the contract lasts.
The owners have to pay bills, maintenance fees, annual fees, and other costs to spend on quality vacations. However, they do not get money in return. Renting out the timeshare is a practice followed by many owners, which often results in additional costs to repair the damage caused by renters.
Timeshare ownership comes with a mix of benefits and challenges. When you no longer want to own a timeshare, you have the option to exit the contract.
Getting out of timeshare ownership is comparatively simple, only in its rescission period or through a deed back program. Otherwise, exiting the timeshare includes an array of hectic steps, such as hiring an attorney or an exit company. Every option except rescinding the timeshare costs a huge sum, around $200 to $15,000.