Consumers looking to buy, sell or rent timeshares on the secondary market often ask if they need the services of a timeshare broker, since many negotiations now take place online directly between owners and prospective buyers and renters. The answer lies in the experience level of the consumer.
For owners who are experienced in navigating through the timeshare resale process, then perhaps they don’t need a broker to help with the sale. However, when you look closer, a timeshare broker provides much more than what meets the eye.
Timeshare Brokers – How They Can Help
A timeshare broker is a licensed real estate agent who specializes in timeshare sales on the resale market. Licensed under state real estate regulations through the state in which they operate, they must study for a real estate exam the same way a real estate agent would who sells a home. This is because timeshare is regulated under state real estate law.
This allows a timeshare broker to conduct business in certain areas that an advertising company cannot perform in under current real estate law:
- Price properties – a timeshare broker can give an owner a specific price estimate on a timeshare.
- Negotiate a sale – accepting offers on a property and negotiating an agreement on a timeshare sale can only be accomplished by an owner or a licensed agent.
- Purchase and sales agreements – such contracts are strictly regulated under state law and timeshare brokers are trained to complete these agreements in adherence to such laws.
These areas make the use of timeshare broker services a sought-after method of transacting on the resale market. However, what traditionally attracts owners to use a broker are their experience in the timeshare market and the fact they operate on a commission-only basis.
Timeshare Industry Experience
The timeshare sector is a niche-market within the overall real estate industry, as most timeshares are still considered deeded real estate property in the U.S. Most regular real estate agents wouldn’t have the first clue about how to handle a timeshare sale, since there is no way for an agent to “show” a property and build the type of excitement that a new home purchase can provide.
This makes experience with the timeshare product, and within the timeshare business community, vital to the success of any timeshare broker. Many brokers begin their craft in resales after having previously worked for resorts, where they had sold the product directly to new buyers who toured the facility. These professionals understand the way the sales process works, the way the resort price is inflated to cover the sales and marketing costs at the resort, and how they can save a buyer thousands of dollars by purchasing on the timeshare resale market.
A timeshare broker is also part of a network of other brokers who can help complete the sale of a timeshare. Much like the way an MLS system works for home sales, these agents will contact other agents to match up sellers with buyers in an arrangement that leads to a faster sale than those who do not understand the intricacies of the industry. These brokers will typically take on a listing, market it through promotion and notify their internal and external networks until they can arrive at a sale.
Commission Only – Pay Later
The concept of paying a commission to a timeshare broker after the sale is a popular one, especially since the buyer is usually the one paying the commission. However, the idea that an owner is gaining a sale, and money, without an investment in the transaction is not entirely accurate.
While it is true that owners don’t typically pay an advance fee or a listing fee for a timeshare broker to take on the listing and marketing of their timeshare, they often will be receiving less money for the sale than if they were to market the property and conduct the transaction themselves. However, most timeshare owners who work with brokers are happy with this arrangement since it means the timeshare would have sold and they don’t have to deal with the paperwork that comes with the sale.
Many timeshare brokers operate on a minimum $1,500 commission for transacting the sale, as is the case with our affiliated brokerage company Timeshare Broker Associates and Gateway Timeshare Resales.
The Timeshare Closing Process
Once a sale has been negotiated, the agent who has provided the timeshare broker services will prepare the purchase and sales agreement and go about securing the arrangement. Documents are signed and typically deposits are taken from the buyer, with the balance due at closing. Monies will be placed into escrow and released to the seller once the sales process has been closed.
Generally, the services of a closing company are brought into the process, unless the timeshare broker has the ability to handle the closing themselves. Aspects such as the notification of the resort, estoppel requests from the resort, any possible legal reviews and the recording of the deed in the name of the new owner need to be enacted before the sale can be concluded. Other issues which can arise during the closing process are whether there is a mortgage on the property which needs to be paid off, if there are any transfer fees involved and if the maintenance fees are up to date with the resort.
These are areas where a timeshare broker can play a significant role in the process, and why customers of BuyaTimeshare.com should consider using the services of a broker once they have found a buyer for their timeshare.
If an advertiser with BuyaTimeshare.com negotiates their sale with a buyer themselves but does not want to process the agreement, they have the option of securing the services of our affiliated timeshare broker, Timeshare Broker Associates, who can just handle the document side of the transaction for a nominal fee.
Regardless of whether a seller has engaged the services of a broker to negotiate the entire process, or just the document preparation, the closing process can take 12 weeks or more for the paperwork to be completed. Once the sale is closed, then written notification is provided to all parties, funds are distributed and the transfer of ownership is concluded.