The following article was written by Syed Sarmad, the Principal Real Estate Broker for Advantage Vacation and was published on the TUG (Timeshare Users Group) website for the week of May 21, 2013.  We reprint it in its entirety.

“Starwood Timeshares: Resale vs Retail

Written by Syed Sarmad of Advantage Vacation

This article will discuss the Starwood Timeshare brand and will elaborate on the differences between buying New directly from Starwood or buying from an existing owner on the resale market.

StarOptions?  StarPoints?  What’s the difference?

·         StarOptions entitle you to a timeshare vacation at Starwood Vacation resorts – this is essentially the trading currency within the Starwood Timeshare Program.

·         StarPoints are used to stay in Starwood brand hotels, purchase airline tickets, car rentals, etc., these can be obtained by converting unused StarOptions into StarPoints.

Mandatory vs Voluntary?  I’m confused!

There are two types of resorts in the SVO system, Mandatory and Voluntary.  The main difference between the two is that in Mandatory resorts, the StarOption benefits DO transfer with a resale transaction, while in Voluntary Resorts, these benefits do NOT transfer with resales.

There are 6 Mandatory Starwood Resorts:

·         The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas

·         The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas North

·         The Westin Kierland Villas

·         Harborside Resort at Atlantis (Phase 1 and 2)

·         The Westin St. John Resort Villas (Hillside)

·         Sheraton Vistana Villages (Bella and Key West phases)

There are 15 Voluntary Starwood Resorts

·         The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas

·         The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort

·         The Westin Desert Willow Villas

·         The Westin Mission Hills Resort & Villas

·         The Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas

·         The Westin St. John Resort Villas (Bay Vista)

·         Sheraton Mountain Vista

·         Lakeside Terrace

·         Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas

·         Sheraton Desert Oasis

·         Villas of Cave Creek

·         Sheraton PGA Vacation Resort

·         Sheratorn Broadway Plantation

·         Sheraton Vistana Resort (Falls, Spas, Courts, Palms, Springs, Fountains I, Fountains II, Lakes and Cascades)

·         Sheraton Vistana Villages (Amelia and St. Augustine)

*Voluntary Resort Owners:  You are entitled to book up to 12 months in advance at the resort.  If you wish to make an exchange you would have to enroll in Interval International or another exchange network.

Is there any way to get StarPoint benefits with Voluntary Resorts?

StarPoint benefits do not transfer on any resale unless your transaction is “Retroed”.

When you purchase a resale week it is possible to have your resale week(s) “retroed” which gives you all the same benefits of StarOptions, StarPoints, Interval International membership benefits and your resale purchase will apply toward Elite Status.  This however, requires you to purchase a week directly from a Starwood Resort at the new retail prices!

Following is the procedure to follow in order to have your resale week “retroed”:

After you have made a resale purchase, you must then have it recorded by SVO.

After the resale you purchased has been recorded by SVO, contact a salesperson at the resort where you want to purchase from the developer.  Make sure the sales agent confirms when you purchase a week direct from the developer that they will “retro” your specific resale week with all the benefits of StarOptions, StarPoints and applying toward Elite Status.  Do not sign the contract without getting this agreement in writing.

*You must purchase a week new from the developer to have your resale week “retroed”.

We hope this article helps you with your Starwood Vacation Timeshare purchase, be it Resale or Retail, you should be able to make an educated decision and know exactly what you are getting!”

Vacation ownership ensures that you and your family will enjoy quality time together year after year!  Let the licensed timeshare real estate professionals at Advantage Vacation show you just how easy and affordable it is to enjoy vacation ownership with the name brand of Starwood timeshares.

Advantage Vacation is a licensed timeshare resale brokerage located at the Lahaina Cannery Mall in Lahaina, Maui.  We specialize in Maui timeshare resales and Hawaii timeshare resales of name brand timeshares.

We can assist you in purchasing Hilton timeshare resales on the Big Island or the island of Oahu.  We also have Marriott timeshare resale listings on Maui and several of the other Hawaiian Islands.  If you are a fan of Westin, we would be happy to assist you with the purchase of a Westin timeshare resale. Advantage Vacation is a member of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) and offers the best buys on the timeshare resales market today. We never charge an upfront fee for clients who want to sell a timeshare and only receive a commission, paid from escrow, when the transaction is closed.

We are leaders in the timeshare resale secondary market, have been in the timeshare industry for over 30 years and are Accredited Members of the BBB with an A+ Rating. Advantage Vacation is using Twitter and Facebook to help educate people on the changes in the timeshare industry along with current timeshare tips, up to date timeshare news and timeshare FAQ’s.

We hope you will follow us and our blog, Timeshare Blogging by Advantage Vacation for the latest timeshare news and reviews. If our site does not answer your question or questions, please email us your question and we will answer it and add it to our library. Make your voice heard – what questions do you have?

At Advantage Vacation you can be assured you are working with professionals who believe that honesty and integrity are the most important aspects of the business they are in – timeshare resales. Our business has been built on relationships and we pride ourselves on providing excellent service to our clients.

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