What is the best, safest way to sell a time share? When my husband was alive, we enjoyed it, but since I am now a widow with a little dog, I can't foresee using it again. And, there is a monthly maintenance fee! Help!
-Patricia, Owosso, Mich.
First the bad news: the resale market of most time shares is not robust—and never has been. Many folks understand this upfront and then either give their timeshare to a friend or relative, or even deed it in their will.
According to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), make sure to check with your resort management company and ask if it offers a resale program or if it’s affiliated with a broker that handles resales. If it does, you can ask to see the statistics on past resales. If your timeshare is in a resort area, a broker in that area may handle resales, but keep in mind that commissions will run anywhere from 10 to 25 percent. You can also look for a broker in your hometown. If you plan on using a broker, make sure he or she is a licensed real estate broker, and it’s also a good idea to ask for references and to speak with past sellers.
The other alternative is using a Web site like www.sellmytimesharenow.com. When using a Web site, it's especially crucial that you do your homework before working with them. Good ways to check them out include the Better Business Bureau (you can search online at bbb.org). Also, find out if they're a member in good standing with ARDA or CRDA (its Canadian counterpart).
For more information, visit www.arda.org or call 202-371-6700.