Timeshares, which are basically shared ownership agreements wherein multiple “owners” divide their time spent at a timeshare property every year, remain popular alternatives to resorts and hotels to this day. While many people have apprehensions about buying timeshares, millions of people in the U.S. still own timeshares.
Buying a timeshare could be a daunting endeavor, so you need to go in with a solid battle plan before engaging. Here are some tips for you:
- Check the seller/developer of the timeshare’s rating with the BB (Better Business Bureau). Note that the timeshare industry is full of scammers, so be sure to do your due diligence to avoid being scammed.
- If possible, do the timeshare search on your own to save money instead of getting an agent to do it for you. Consider using a portion of your budget on timeshare lawyer services instead to ensure that you’ve got all the legal stuff in order and that your contract benefits you.
- Refrain from going to timeshare presentations, as these usually last for several hours and feature highly energetic and skilled salespersons who would offer you various incentives to get you to sign up. If you do go to a presentation, be prepared with a list of questions and never allow the salesperson to beat around the bush when answering your questions.
- Negotiate whenever you can. If you find a timeshare you like, don’t show the seller that you’re really interested. Instead, try to voice out your concerns like availability, pet policy, fees, etc. to open a discussion for negotiations.
- Ask about related upfront and recurring fees. For example, timeshare properties usually come with annual maintenance fees, which could cost up to $500 or more depending on the property.
- Don’t buy a timeshare as an investment, because it’s not. The value of timeshares depreciates quickly, so if you’re buying a timeshare so that you could resell it later for a profit, think again.
Just as with any huge purchase, you need to do your research and consider everything before signing a timeshare agreement. If you’re not 100% sure about your decision, take a couple of days to think about it and then decide.