Most people buying or selling a timeshare typically leave the closing to the pros. It’s headache free and, considering the time and effort, often cheaper in the long run. Plus, one mistake can undo the deal, or worse, create detrimental liability. But if you’re courageous and conscientious enough, here are some pointers you’ll need to keep in mind as well as the steps you’ll need to take in order to complete an owner-to-owner timeshare transfer.
Step 1—Be careful.
Before you even begin, make sure the other party is legitimate and trustworthy, especially if you’re the seller. In today’s timeshare resale market, scammers greatly outnumber legitimate buyers. In fact, the BBB lists the timeshare resale market as one of the most likely places in the nation to get scammed. Media outlets and government agencies regularly warn sellers to beware. If you have any doubts of who you are dealing with, call the national timeshare scam hotline at 1-800-965-6565.
Step 2—Create a buy sell agreement, known as an “earnest money contract.”
Once you’ve established that the deal is legit, you’ll need a sales agreement, commonly called an earnest money contract. This document is essentially a real estate contract and should be as detailed as if you were selling your actual home.
If you’re the seller, click here for how to create a timeshare sales agreement.
If you’re the buyer, you should do your due diligence and call the resort. Find out if the seller owes any outstanding fees, whether there are any liens on the property, whether there is still money owing on an original sales/purchase agreement through the resort and whether the current weeks are still available.
Step 3—Create a deed.
Once you have a sales agreement, you’ll need a deed. This document is the actual proof of ownership that will be transferred from the seller to the buyer. The deed may be a Warranty Deed – where the buyer warrants the ownership, or a Quitclaim Deed – where the owner is simply transferring whatever interest he/she owns. For more on creating a deed, click here.
Step 4—Record your deed with the county.
You’ll need to notarize the deed and submit it to the county clerk’s office, along with any required recording fees or tax fees. The county may have specific requirements for recording your deed, such as additional affidavits. Make copies for all parties before sending off the original.
Step 5—Notify the resort.
The seller must send a letter to the resort or management company detailing the transaction. The letter should include the week and unit, as well as the contact information of the buyer. The resort may charge a transfer fee. The buyer should make sure the resort gets a copy of the recorded deed. Many resorts will not transfer ownership records (and allow rights to use) until that happens.
If you have any other questions about buying or selling a timeshare, Resort Closings is happy to answer them.
Call us anytime at 1-855-730-7275