Timeshare Exit Strategies

Excerpt from Chapter 1


The Ultimate Problem

Timeshare developers and exchange companies undeniably created a strong appeal for vacationers around the world to get into timeshare. However, as also evidenced by the negative impact on the timeshare resale marketplace, there was never enough consideration given to how one would get out. This has created a drastic oversupply of timeshare weeks for sale in the secondary market with a limited number of interested or prospective buyers.

The lack of developer “exit strategies” has led to an adverse effect on the timeshare industry in general. Unfortunately, a lot of public attention and definite controversy abounds about the “unending” commitment of timeshare ownership.

In a quest to maintain sales interest and keep the vacation ownership “commitment” a desirable concept, you may read or hear developer statements about the possibility of upcoming automatic “relinquishment” or “buy-back” programs. Which would be a welcomed solution. However, there is only one company that I’ve heard of, in recent years, actually tying an alleged “buy-back” option into the sale. Which is said to be part of the incentive for larger purchases or timeshare portfolios with that developer. Although there may be others, “buy-backs” are not ordinarily advertised. Until more widespread “buy-back” or “relinquishment” solutions are formally introduced and implemented, if a reality at all, you may be forced to consider other ways to get out of your timeshare.


What’s My Bottom Line?

It all starts with considering wanting out. The controversial timeshare debates are largely dependent on individual viewpoints and personal experiences. It remains that many timeshare/vacation ownership participants love it, use it, and would never give it up. They understand and accept the cost increases, expected challenges and ever-evolving industry, and are still happy with the overall value. Then, there are those timeshare owners, in the contemplative mode, with a sort of “love/hate” relationship with their timeshare. They may be only considering the possibility of letting go of their plan and merely exploring their options for now. Yet, for others, it’s much like they say about buying and selling a boat—“two of the happiest days of their lives.” Although they were excited when they bought it, they can’t wait for the day that they no longer have to pay maintenance fees on their unwanted timeshare.

Where do you stand on how you feel about your timeshare today? Do you still have some positive feeling about originally buying it, or strongly regret the day that you did? Is it possible that any ill feelings that you may have about your timeshare have been spurred by public attention and outside negative opinions that may have swayed your thinking or made you second guess your initial decision to buy?

There’s no question, you have to decide for yourself. But, before declaring your position too quickly, and to help to decide what’s best for you, be sure that you take some time to personally consider all aspects of your ownership. Starting with reflecting on the overall impact that timeshare ownership created in the lives of you and your family in years past. Then, consider what you still hope or expect to get out of your vacation portfolio in the future. Assess the relationship of the cost factors and benefits against what’s perceived as drawbacks. The following section is designed to help you to regain an overall perspective to evaluate, objectively, whether you should be getting out of your timeshare or not!


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