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timeshare

Guest Post on selling a timeshare, by Chris Pascale


Many years ago, my wife’s grandparents bought a timeshare from Silverleaf Resorts and it was a terrific deal. They not only had their 1 week every year, but if there was a vacancy, they could go to any of the locations for up to 6 nights, on an unlimited basis.

Grandma and Grandpa added my wife and another relative to the deed. When we lived in Louisiana, we headed out to properties in Texas 2-3 times a year. From New York, we made our way up to Massachusetts.

After some time, though, none of us had been to any of the locations in over a year, but a monthly maintenance fee was being charged.

It was time to sell it.


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Can You Really Sell a Timeshare?

Short answer: No.

Just consider if you or anyone you know ever bought one from a person selling it.

Long answer: We inquired to one of those companies about selling.

I explained that the locations were nice, especially since Holiday Inn Resorts now owned Silverleaf, and added that anyone who bought it would have “bonus time,” allowing them to go for an unlimited number of visits.

Before I said more, I asked if he was familiar with Silverleaf.

Not only was he familiar, but he had “hundreds of people” who wanted to buy Silverleaf properties. That sounded rather unbelievable – literally – but if he had buyers on the hook, I was happy to help.

And this is where he said I needed to pay a fee for him to sell it.

Hearing this, I thought, he must have blacked out during the part where he told me he had hundreds of buyers, and I had just one to sell, so I took a conversational step back, but to no avail. He said that it was really just how they made money – the fee – and that once we did this, I’d need to promote it on Facebook (I don’t use Facebook, nor did I want to flex my bachelor’s in marketing for this).

I asked where all those hundreds of buyers were, but I guess they’d already made their purchases between the time he mentioned them, and I asked more about that.

Having tried this with multiple companies of the same sort, it seemed that the best thing to do was give the thing back.

Giving Back the Timeshare

I called Silverleaf, but since I wasn’t an “owner” they wouldn’t hear of me trying to give back the “property.”

When my wife called they said they’d only talk to the primary person, who was in a nursing home with dementia, or their power of attorney. We secured a real estate power of attorney.

Having taken this step, we then heard about how valuable the property was, and that we could get a lot of money for selling it.

“How much will you pay us for it?” we asked.

They didn’t mean them.

“We’d just like to not have it anymore,” we told them.

It was then that the Silverleaf representative said we’d have to pay the monthly fees through the current and following years to get out of the contract.

My wife asked for it in writing, to which she was referred to the legal department. The legal department said they’d only speak with her lawyer.

A Lawyer Walks Into a Timeshare Presentation

They wanted a lawyer? I’d give them a lawyer!

My good friend Garett Metcalf had one of the best records in Bronx Housing Court before switching sides to work for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

After he wrote them, Silverleaf said they’d settle the matter as discussed. But the company sent something to my address in the name of the person who they’d been informed had dementia, asking for a signature on an agreement of increased fees for an extended period.

I forwarded it to my lawyer, who gave them heck like you wouldn’t believe, promising to file a proper lawsuit that would not be settled so as to go into the public record if the matter wasn’t terminated immediately with no more fees at all.

They agreed and sent the paperwork.

It Wasn't Over…Yet

The documents were nearly standard, but plentiful, and needed to be signed by the three people on the deed, plus the power of attorney for the person with dementia, and then also by me.

Why did I have to sign it? Because they required my authority in saying that I was okay with my wife doing this. Really.

In the end, this involved five people in two different time zones, plus an attorney specializing in landlord-tenant law. But it wasn’t over yet.

Having received it, Silverleaf said that they would carefully scrutinize the power of attorney, and also that the page I signed – where it said that I was okay with my wife engaging in this business deal (yes, really) – was not acceptable because the notary stamp encroached on the signature line. I did it again, forwarded it to my lawyer, and he followed up.

Following one last monthly charge, they accepted our paperwork, and we were timeshare-free.


Listen to Optimal Finance Daily for tips on personal finance, financial independence, and more.


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Chris Pascale

Chris Pascale is an author, accountant and adjunct professor from Long Island. He is the former CFO of Portfolios with Purpose. His finance writing has been featured on the AIPCA’s “Tax Matters” page, WealthyJoe.com, and others. He is working on a novel and is also the author of a book of poetry.
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