What are the advantages to purchasing a timeshare resale versus buying direct from the developer? The single biggest advantage to buying a timeshare resale is the price. You can literally save thousands of dollars purchasing a timeshare resale versus purchasing direct from the developer. In some instances not all the benefits transfer on a resale. However, the dollar savings is significant when purchasing a timeshare resale.
What is a timeshare resale? A timeshare resale is a previously owned timeshare which the owner, for one reason or another, has no longer use for and decides to sell it.
What types of timeshare resales are there? There are deeded timeshares, vacation club timeshares and points-based timeshares. The major, name brand timeshare companies are Disney, Four Seasons,Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Westin/Starwood and Wyndham.
Disney Vacation Club is based on a Vacation Points System and is affiliated with RCI. Members receive an annual allotment of Vacation Points based on the size of their real estate interest to use toward their vacations at Disney Vacation Club Resorts. The Vacation Points can be used at any of the more than 500 Member Getaways destinations worldwide, when purchased directly from Disney.
Hilton has a point based timeshare where you own at a specific resort. It gives you the ability to vacation at the resort, in the season you own in, up to twelve months in advance. You can trade it internally using the point valuation to vacation at any other Hilton Grand Vacation Club or you can convert it into Hilton Honors and stay at Hilton Hotel worldwide, use them for car rental or airline tickets, etc. Hilton is a point based timeshare that gives you the ability to vacation at their selection of resorts, exchange thru RCI or convert into hotel points.The right to convert to Hilton Club Points into HiltonHonors is available to a resale purchaser. Hilton also offers Open Season reservations where you can make reservations in less than 29 days in advance and not have to use your time.
Hyatt has a selection of resorts in their network where you own at that resort, you own a specific week (sort of like a fixed week) which gives you the right to stay at that resort during that week. It has a point valuation associated with it according to the unit size and week number that you bought whether it’s Diamond, Platinum, Gold or Silver, etc. Using those points it allows you to “float” within that resort or you can trade within, internally, to other Hyatt resorts. If you want to vacation outside the Hyatt system of resorts then you can go through Interval International to make your exchanges. On the resale market you do not get any rights to convert into Hyatt or Gold Passport points.
Marriott has two types of programs. One is the Legacy Timeshare Owner and the other is the Destination Club.
When you purchase a Legacy week, you buy at a particular resort and buy either a fixed week or floating week in the season you want. This gives you the ability to book at your resort for the time period you bought. If you want to exchange, you go through Interval International to trade into other Marriott Vacation Club resorts, you would get internal exchange priorities and of course, you can vacation at other Interval International affiliated resorts. A Legacy week is seven days and seven nights when you are using it.
The option to convert into Marriott Reward points is not available to a resale buyer of a Legacy week. The right to convert into Marriott Destination Club points is not available on any resale that has taken place after June 20, 2010.
The Destination Club points program is where you have a beneficial interest in a land trust which consists of some inventory that is compiled to form the Club from all the various locations that Marriott Vacation Club has. You have an interest, you own so many points, you’re allotted so many points that give you the right to travel internally, within your own resort for a few days at a time and in a particular location, you can vary in the size of the unit, view category, season, etc. depending on the number of points you have. You can also utilize those points to vacation thru Interval International or convert them into Award Points and use it for hotels, partial stays, etc. All benefits are transferable on a resale purchase.
The Westin/Starwood timeshare program has two types of resorts in their system – Mandatory and Voluntary. Mandatory consists of 6 resorts and when you purchase a timeshare resale in any of those locations you are entitled to StarOption benefits. You can either book at your home resort where you have priority 8 – 12 months in advance for the time period you own or you can trade internally 8 months or less in advance at any other Starwood vacation ownership property using your StarOptions. You also have Interval International. If you buy in a Voluntary resort you do not get StarOption benefits, therefore you can only vacation at your resort or you can enroll in Interval International in order to exchange to other resorts. You don’t have the right to convert into StarPoints unless you go back to the developer and purchase a unit directly from the developer – then they will “retro” your transaction which will give you StarOption benefits and allow you to convert to StarPoints, just as if you had purchased directly from the developer.
Wyndham Vacation Ownership also offers a points based system through Club Wyndham and is affiliated with RCI for additional exchange opportunities. You own a timeshare at a specific resort, with a point value assigned to it. As the owner of Wyndham Points you can reserve units at your home resort 13 months in advance and reserve units at any other Wyndham resort 10 months in advance. The only difference when you purchase Wyndham points on the resale market versus purchasing retail from the developer is the VIP benefits. VIP benefits are given to owners who own 400,000 or more points. This is the only benefit that is not transferable, unless it is sold to an immediate family member.
Which timeshare resale is best?
Fixed week, floating week, points-based? It depends on how you and your family like to vacation.
- If you are limited to a certain time of the year that you can vacation (when kids are out of school, for example) you might want to consider a fixed week so you know exactly when you will be vacationing each year.
- If you are a bit more flexible and prefer a certain season versus a specific week, you might consider a floating week within a certain time period or season.
- If you are free to travel at a moment’s notice at anytime during the year and like to take multiple vacations each year, then a points based timeshare would be best for you.
So how do you choose which company you want to own in?
Start by looking at the group or collection of resorts that each name brand timeshare company has in their network or system. See if the locations appeal to you because obviously you get some internal exchange priorities by owning in that timeshare company.
Look at whether hotel points are important to you, because Hilton really is the only company that allows you to convert to hotel points. Hilton also offers Open Season reservations where you can make reservations in less than 29 days in advance and not have to use your time.
Following you will find a list of smaller, non-name brand timeshare companies:
- The Berkley Group
- Bluegreen Resorts
- Consolidated Resorts
- Defender Resorts
- Diamond Resorts International®
- Divi Resorts
- Embassy Vacation Resorts
- Fairfield Resorts (now owned by Wyndham)
- Festiva Resorts
- Grand Pacific Resorts
- Holiday Concepts Group
- InnSeason Resorts
- Island One Resorts
- Macdonald Resorts
- Mayan Resorts
- Monarch Grand Vacations
- MROP – ORE
- Palace Resorts
- Pueblo Bonito Resorts
- Royal Holiday
- Royal Resorts
- Seasons Holidays
- Shawnee Resorts
- Silverleaf Resorts
- Spinnaker Resorts
- SPM Resorts
- Summer Bay Resorts
- Sunterra Resorts (now owned by Diamond Resorts)
- Vacation Village Resorts
- The Villa Group
- Vacation Internationale
- Welk Resort Group
- Westgate Resorts
Vacation clubs offer the added benefit of points which enable you to trade your annual allotment for accommodations at a variety of in-network resorts and weeks. For owners who want even more flexibility than standard timeshare exchange companies can provide, a timeshare vacation club is the best option. Following you will find a list of non-name brand vacation clubs:
- Atlas, The Vacation Owners Club
- Avalon Vacation Club
- Aviawest Resort Club
- Club Absolute
- Club Casa Dorada
- Club Intrawest
- Club Navigo
- Club Regina
- El Cid Vacations Club
- GeoHoliday Vacation Club
- Global Exchange Vacation Club
- Holiday Inn Club Vacations
- ILX Premiere Vacation Club
- Legacy Vacation Club (formerly Celebrity Resorts)
- Perennial Vacation Club
- Raintree Vacation Club
- Ritz-Carlton Club
- Royal Aloha Vacation Club
- Shell Vacations Club
- Universal Vacation Club
- World International Vacation Club
- WorldMark, The Club
Another option to consider is the RCI Points Program which may give you the right to use your point’s currency to travel into other RCI points based resorts.
Interval International has a Gold and Platinum membership which gives the subscriber the ability to trade resort weeks or points for multiple vacations of one to six nights each.
Do all benefits transfer on a timeshare resale?
Not always. The major timeshare companies of Disney, Four Seasons,Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Westin/Starwood and Wyndham each have different restrictions on their timeshare resales.
Why are timeshare prices so much lower on the resale market?
The developer incurs marketing costs to advertise their resort in order to attract buyers and those costs are then passed on to the consumer. It is the developer who sets the price on the retail market. On the secondary timeshare resale market, prices are determined by individuals and current market conditions.
Who should you buy a timeshare resale from?
You should always work with an experienced, licensed timeshare resale professional who is knowledgeable about the timeshare you may be considering and is familiar with the area.
It is recommended that you also check with the Better Business Bureau prior to doing business with any timeshare resale company.
It’s important to remember that timeshare is real estate and using a licensed real estate professional will ensure that the entire transaction (whether you want to buy a timeshare resale or you want to sell your timeshare) is handled correctly and in full accordance with the timeshare laws of the State and the resort management company’s requirements.