Ask RedWeek / June, 2015

Is there actual demand for my timeshare, and what is it worth?

I want to sell my timeshare, but I'm interested in finding out whether there is demand for my timeshare resort and week first. Can anyone tell me how sellable my timeshare is, and what it's worth?

RedWeek's own "What's my timeshare worth?" tool is an excellent starting point for both rentals and resale valuations. We have just learned about a new service that can also help with your research when deciding whether to sell your timeshare. Sharket.com, a research firm based in Celebration, Florida, has assembled the industry's first comprehensive survey of timeshare resales. While some resorts are selling pretty well, others are not.

Bob Schmidt is the chief data officer for Sharket, which is trying to accomplish something no other firm has even attempted. Their modest goal? Revolutionize and energize the timeshare resale market by giving owners an accurate picture of what their timeshares are worth on the secondary market.

Filling a void in the timeshare market, Schmidt and his Sharket partners have compiled the industry's first comprehensive database of resale market values. Sharket tracks actual sales nationwide, according to closing documents posted with county property tax authorities. Their plan, over time, is to publish periodic reports about what's selling, what's not, and where.

To date, they have tracked more than $327 million in resale transactions at 1,400 resorts in North America and the Caribbean. The data goes back to 2012, and is updated constantly, so owners can see changes in sales, volume and, most importantly, resale trends. Best of all, the information is free.

So, What Are They Actually Selling For?

If you want to know what your timeshare is selling for in today's market, simply navigate to sharket.com and enter your resort in the search box on the home page. All current sales data at your resort will pop up, along with its overall ranking compared to other resorts. Sharket also posts the "saleability score" of each resort, a metric that boils down volume and median selling prices into an overall number between one and ten. A resort with lots of sales at higher prices will get a higher number. A resort with few sales at rock bottom prices will earn a lower number.

Here's a typical search result: Kaanapali Beach Club, a Diamond Resorts timeshare located in Maui, offers primarily one-bedroom villas. Sharket collected data on 480 owner-to-owner resales since January 2012. The typical selling price is $2,000, while the presidential suites and a handful of two-bedroom units go for much higher values. The resort's overall saleability score is five, not bad by itself, but much lower than the scores of the big-brand-name resorts nearby owned by Marriott and Starwood, among others.

Since mid-April, Sharket has published two full-scale reports and several white papers on resale issues, including scams that target owners desperate to sell their timeshares. One benefit of arming owners with accurate pricing information, Schmidt says, is that educated owners should be less susceptible to sales pitches from transfer and advertising companies that promise top-dollar sales for their timeshares — but only if you pay those companies an upfront fee that might EXCEED the actual market value of your resort.

Schmidt, who's been working the Sharket project for nearly two years, pictures the company as a timeshare equivalent of Zillow.com, an online company that tracks residential real estate activity, or the Kelley Blue Book, the old-school traditional bible of used car values.

"We want to make this data available for the benefit of timeshare owners and the industry in general. We also see a gap (in accurate resale information) and hope this fills it," Schmidt said. "This should be a great complement to all the other timeshare resale Web sites."

Top 25 Timeshare Resorts in the U.S. By Resale Values

In April, Sharket published its first report ranking the top 25 timeshare resorts in the country by their resale values. Astoundingly, even to Schmidt, Disney Vacation Club resorts captured the top seven positions, and nine of the top 25.

The overall leader was Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa, Lake Buena Vista, where resales averaged $11,200 per interval across 882 resales. Saratoga's volume, moreover, more than doubled the second-place finisher, Disney's Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort, which reported average sales of $15,600 per interval on 408 total transactions. Hilton's Grand Vacations Club Eagle's Nest Beach Resort, on Marco Island, had the eighth highest score. The top eight resorts were the only timeshares — among 1,400 — that earned a perfect 10 in saleability scores. Two Marriotts, the Grande Vista Resort in Orlando and Ko Olina Beach Club in Oahu, rounded out the top 10 in Sharket's first survey. They earned 9's on their saleability scores.

"I'm a data explorer. I just wanted to find what was in the data. But I was surprised that the Disney resorts dominated," Schmidt said. "The good news is there is a tremendous amount of resale activity going on. When you price your timeshare at the right price, it will sell."

See the full top 25 listing on Sharket's Web site.

Top 25 Marriott Vacation Club Resorts

In May, Sharket followed up with a resale report ranking the top 25 Marriott Vacation Club timeshare resorts. They are located in Orlando, Hawaii and Lake Tahoe, and posted resale transactions ranging from $4,500 to $10,500 per interval from January 2013 to July 2014. The top-ranked Marriott, Grande Vista, had a typical resale price of $4,500 across 309 resales a year. The #2 Marriott timeshare, Ko Olina in Maui, had higher average resale prices — $10,530 — but much fewer sales, 116 annually. Marriott's Maui Ocean Club ($6,945), Timber Lodge ($5,500) and Kauai Beach Club ($5,700) rounded out the top five MVC resorts. All five resorts earned 9's on the saleability scale.

"We consider any resort with a score of eight or above to be in the top tier of all timeshare resorts," Schmidt said.

Resort
Rank
Resort Name City Typical
Price
Sales
Count
Saleability
Score
1 Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa Lake Buena Vista $11,200 882 10
2 Disney's Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort Lake Buena Vista $15,600 408 10
3 Disney's Old Key West Resort Lake Buena Vista $12,400 388 10
4 Disney's Boardwalk Villas Lake Buena Vista $12,600 320 10
5 Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas Lake Buena Vista $11,700 315 10
6 Disney's Beach Club Villas Lake Buena Vista $13,000 231 10
7 Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge Lake Buena Vista $11,800 256 10
8 Hilton Grand Vacations Club Eagle's Nest Beach Resort Marco Island $5,000 216 10
9 Marriott's Grande Vista Orlando $4,500 309 9
10 Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club Oahu $10,530 116 9
11 The Villas at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa Anaheim $17,640 100 9
12 Marriott's Maui Ocean Club Maui $6,945 175 9
13 Hilton Grand Vacations Club the Charter Club of Marco Beach Marco Island $7,500 118 9
14 Disney's Vero Beach Resort Vero Beach $6,600 158 9
15 Marriott's Timber Lodge South Lake Tahoe $5,500 124 9
16 Marriott's Kauai Beach Club Kauai $5,700 132 9
17 Marriott's Newport Coast Villas Newport Coast $7,000 110 9
18 The Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas Lahaina $16,500 99 8
19 The Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas North Lahaina $21,000 74 8
20 Casa Ybel Beach and Racquet Club (Hilton managed) Sanibel $13,250 76 8
21 Tortuga Beach Club Resort (Hilton managed) Sanibel Island $10,000 80 8
22 Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Hilton Hawaiian Village the Lagoon Tower Honolulu $20,750 51 8
23 Plantation Beach Club at South Seas Resort (Hilton managed) Captiva Island $12,000 72 8
24 Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Seaworld International Center Orlando $3,500 216 8
25 Marriott's Waiohai Beach Club Kauai $9,200 97 8

Next Top 25 Release

Sharket's next top-25 report will reveal the best-selling timeshare resales in Orlando. That report will provide statistics culled from 98 resorts in a city that's the motherlode for timeshare companies, resorts, resales, and timeshare scams.

One piece is missing from Sharket's market research, and it's a deliberate omission. There's no single chart on their Web site that enables viewers to scan all 1,400 resorts, from top to bottom. This means, while Sharket typically reports on top-25 resale resorts, you can't search their site to compile a bottom-10 list on your own. But if you conduct a search for a specific resort and it pops up with an overall resale ranking of 1,400, you've truly found the bottom of the barrel in the timeshare resale market.

Important disclosure: Sharket is not affiliated with any developers. When evaluating resale transactions, Sharket culls out resales involving developers because it's impossible, from the data, to determine whether the developer actually bought back the timeshare or obtained it through foreclosure. Sharket reports on owner-to-owner transactions.

About the author

This answer was provided by RedWeek's Chief Correspondent, Jeff Weir. Jeff is a California-based journalist who has covered California, Congress, and the White House. He also has roots in Silicon Valley, where he directed public relations and marketing programs for high-tech companies. He is also a timeshare owner and member of RedWeek.com.

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