Getting rid of an unwanted timeshare

Photo: Leeroy/

 Q. My parents bought a timeshare and added my sister and myself to the deed. He is no longer able to travel and is 100 percent disabled. I am not interested in using it either, but I have continued to pay annual fees so my credit score won’t be affected. How can we do to get rid of it? It’s been for sale for over three years with no movement.

A. Timeshares often look so attractive when they’re first purchased, but many owners find they don’t use them enough to make them worth the ongoing fees. When it’s time to dump one, some find it close to impossible.

It’s not impossible, but they can be difficult to sell on the secondary market, said Lisa Ann Schreier, founder of the consumer consulting company Timeshare Insights. 

She said the ease of sale depends on what the timeshare is, where it’s located, whether or not it is paid in full, your asking price and where you’ve been advertising the timeshare.

She said too many consumers don’t list their timeshares on sites that get a lot of traffic, and they simply ask too high a price.

“Most timeshare owners want to believe that they can sell their timeshare for the same or perhaps slightly less than they originally paid for it. Wrong,” she said. ” The average sale price of a timeshare on the primary market in 2014 is slightly more than $20,000. The average selling price of a timeshare on the legitimate resale market today hovers in the $5,000 range. Sad, but that is the reality.”

Schreier said there are three important things to remember.

“Do not pay anything more than a modest — under $100 — fee upfront, do not engage with any entity that initiates contact and do not engage with any entity that promises or guarantees a sale,” she said.

Yes, there are plenty of timeshare scammers out there, but there are legitimate resale platforms available.

Schreier said some companies are better at selling certain kinds of timeshares, so you have to check them out, but she likes and

She also recommends you check with the resort. Some may buy back the property and in the case of well-run, well-maintained and sold out properties, some resorts may even have an active buyback program, Schreier said.

“Timeshare can be a wonderful way to vacation,” she said. “The trick is to get unbiased education on how to use it to suit your needs.”

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This story was first posted in November 2014. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.