Recent years saw a lot of consumers buying into the excitement of owning timeshares. At present, over 6 million of the American population owns a timeshare, a piece of vacation property whose ownership is shared by multiple individuals, each earning the right of usage of the property for at least a week every year. In many instances, timeshare owners find themselves unable to make use of their week even after a few years into their contract. Now, they are stuck with a timeshare contract that binds them to a lifetime of rising annual fees and taxes. Being saddled with such a burden couldn’t have come at a worse time, what with the financial squeeze the country is experiencing.
Mad Rush to Resale Markets
Consequently, these owners often find themselves enlisting the aid of resale agencies in an effort to free themselves of the recurring annual fees associated with timeshare ownership. In the process, owners rack up a bill corresponding to fees collected by these resale companies as they claim to be able to secure buyers for your property.
But more often, timeshare owners realize that getting rid of their contract in the market is not an easy task. Now more than ever, the resale market has become more competitive than sellers originally anticipated. With the sudden rise in the number of owners looking to sell their timeshare, resale prices are driven close to nothing. Even sellers listing their timeshare for a dollar still find it difficult to get buyers.
Timeshare Resale Scams
Moreover, owners rushing to sell their timeshare find themselves being targeted by scammers and fly by night resale operators offering to take the burden of a timeshare contract off their backs in exchange for fees charged upfront. While most owners act wary in face of such promises, these scammers prey on the desperation of the owners, and are able to skillfully make enticing pitches that guarantee results. Time and again, timeshare investors fall prey to these tactics, often ending up shelling out a couple thousand dollars for an ad listing on a site without traffic directed to it. Many states like Florida, have since received complaints and reports of the rising incidences of this nature.
Timeshare Industry Suffers Major Blow
In its brief history, it wasn’t until 2008 that timeshares started to experience a decline in sales, falling as much as 8 percent during that year, and dropping further by 40% in the succeeding year. Major Timeshare operators suffered big losses in sales, forcing them to close down a few offices and cut jobs. Industry leaders like the Marriott International have since suspended the construction of new timeshare facilities as a result of the rapidly declining sales.
Many timeshare owners who have suffered lay offs now find themselves barely able to make the mandatory annual payments of their timeshare property. Faced with the current economic crisis, many timeshare investors expressed regrets in not holding off on timeshare investments.
Industry experts argue that the demand for timeshare properties has remained up. Having the means to finance and avail of timeshare investment is an altogether different matter. The economic crisis cut off the easy credit upon which timeshare developers relied heavily on. This resulted to a drastic change in the way the industry is being run. Timeshare operators have been forced to cut back on the promotions and incentives like free cruises and hotel accommodations given to potential owners, which get them to listen to sales pitches that often result in a signed timeshare contract. Without tempting incentives packaged with timeshare deals, customers are more able to give more thought to signing into a lifelong financial commitment that comes with the ownership of a timeshare.
Despite the controversies and arguable flaws, timeshares still command a number of loyal patrons. Investors looking to buy timeshare flock to resale markets to find the best deals to add to their ever growing investment portfolio. And with the smorgasbord of offers available in the current resale market, timeshare connoisseurs can take their time in picking out the best of them.