Glossary of Timeshare Terms

Annual Fees – a yearly payment of a timeshare ownership for maintenance, utilities and taxes.

Appraisal Services – offered by professional timeshare experts to help timeshare owners set the price of their timeshare at the correct market rate.

Assessment Fees – are a form of a contingent fund for timeshare companies for the refurbishment of the timeshare property itself. This type of fee is solicited from the owner in cases where the timeshare property is damaged beyond the effects of normal wear and tear though time.

Biennial Ownership – a type of timeshare ownership where owners use the timeshare unit every other year.

Brokers – individuals or companies offering timeshare properties for sale that can help timeshare buyers choose a vacation property suited to their specific demographic (income, family size, etc.) and can help timeshare owners pursue a transaction in reselling their timeshares.

Cost of Travel – cost associated to get to the timeshare resort like plane fares, bus fares, and other transportation costs.

Deeded Timeshare – a timeshare contract where a purchaser is buying an actual share of ownership in the resort and is granted permanent ownership.

Escrow Service – acts as an “arms-length” mediator between the parties to a transaction allowing for purchase funds to be held in a secure account pending completion of all documentation required to effect a transfer of timeshare ownership.

Exchange Company – business entity that facilitates the trading of shares, matching people’s wants with what others have to offer.

Flex Plans – allow owners to purchase their share during a certain season instead of being locked into a specific week during the year.

For Sale by Owner – an advertisement done by a timeshare owner when it does come time to sell a timeshare to avoid broker fees.

Fractional Ownership – a type of timeshare ownership where owners buy a large share of vacation ownership time, usually up to 26 weeks rather than an annual week.

Lockoff or Lockout – a set-up where a timeshare is divided into portions for timeshare owner to occupy and offer remaining space for rental or exchange.

Maintenance Fees – The cost of resort operation so that the timeshare is well kept, including furnishings and physical repair (if any), the property taxes (some states do require owners be billed separately for property tax) and insurance, as well as basic utilities for cable television, phone and electricity.

Non-deeded Timeshares – also called right-to-use timeshares, certificate or vacation-interval timeshares; are more like a club membership where a purchaser owns the right to use the property for a specific time period but doesn’t own any real property; these timeshares have an expiration date.

Points Systems – allow owners to purchase points to use at different times throughout the year.

Recording Fee – fees/charges for the official recording of the new ownership with the county clerk’s or county recorder’s office determined by the county in which the deed is being drawn and where the resort is located.

Rental – a way for timeshare owners who do not wish to use their week in any given year (or ever again) to recover or exceed their yearly cost of ownership (such as annual maintenance fees).

Resale – an arrangement conducted by broker/agent who specializes in reselling timeshare units to prospective buyers on behalf of their owners; typically involves listing fees, commissions, or both, to be paid by the owner to the broker/agent.

Resale Value – the market value of a timeshare that is less than its actual developer price.

Season – designated time of the year denoting period of ownership for exchange or usage value.

Swapping – a process by which timeshare owners trade their timeshares at a time that is convenient to both parties.

Timeshare – a different kind of real-estate purchase where a buyer owns the property for a certain period in a year.

Transfer Fee – charged by some resorts to process timeshare transfer paperwork and is negotiable between Buyer and Seller.

Vacation Property – a kind of property where people can stay while on vacation once a year; especially for people who tend to return to the same vacation spot every year.