Selling your timeshare can be a daunting task, especially when you have no idea where to start. You will have to understand what you can sell and what you can't before you do anything else, and once you understand that you will also have to accept the fact that you won't get out more than you put in. This is because timeshare agents attract their clients with spectacular "deals" and often get much more out of you than what the timeshare is really worth.
Find the most appropriate value for your timeshare. Find out exactly how much your timeshare is worth so that you can price it accordingly. If you're not sure where to look, do an Internet search with your resort name and the word "timeshare."
Gather all of your documents. Make sure that you have all of the details at hand that are relevant to the timeshare in question and that you have everything needed to answer any possible questions from potential buyers. This includes information related to mortgage, maintenance and taxation.
Have your timeshare listed with a real estate firm. Be sure to list with an agency that works only according to commission and that does not charge additional fees.
For additional exposure, advertise your timeshare on free ad sites such as Craigslist, and even on auction sites such as eBay.
Start to consider what offers you would be satisfied with if a potential buyer offered you less than your stated price. Of course, make sure that the price stays within reason—not too high or too much lower than the reasonable value you've already ascertained.
Respond to potential buyers as soon as possible. Try not to delay for more than 24 hours, since a buyer may be quick to move on to the next opportunity if you stall.
Draw up a legally binding contract. If possible, you should have an attorney draw up the document. Make sure both you and the buyer understand what the transaction entails so that there are no problems later on. The contract needs to specify exactly what the buyer is getting, how much he is paying to the seller in return, when ownership is transferred to the buyer and when payment is due from him.
Don't expect to get the same amount that you initially paid for your timeshare. Most timeshares sell for between 30 and 50 percent of their original value.
If you're selling an off-season timeshare, you might have to lower the selling price even more to compensate for the decline in the number of possible buyers.
Be sure to interview multiple real estate companies. In this way, you can get the best service at the best price.
Don't ever pay upfront fees when trying to sell your timeshare, regardless of the name applied to the fee requested.
There are as many scam artists trying to steal from you as there are buyers wanting to purchase your timeshare.
Mike Jones is an Atlanta native who has been writing professionally since 2000. He has written a number of entertainment, health and how-to articles for online publications such as eHow and Answerbag. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Regent University.