Ask RedWeek / October, 2018

Will Marriott buy my timeshare back?

I have owned several Marriott Vacation Club properties for years, but it's time to sell them since our family's travel plans are changing. Does Marriott buy timeshares back, and if so, would they give me a decent price?

Short answer: Yes, Marriott is the latest major developer to introduce a buyback and take-back program for longtime owners who have intervals that Marriott wants to acquire. But, unless you have a prime week and don't really care how much you get back for it, you may want to take the time to explore your other options.

Here is a snapshot of the program and how it compares to owners' other options for selling their Marriott timeshare.

Marriott's Quiet Roll-out

Following the lead of Wyndham, which announced the industry's first timeshare exit program in 2015, Marriott quietly introduced an exit program for Marriott Vacation Club (MVC) owners in good standing. "Quietly" means the company did not officially announce it; instead, MVC just posted news of the exit program on its Web site, where it was recently discovered by members of the Timeshare Users Group (TUG).

Under an online headline that says, "Marriott Vacation Club Exit Specialists are Here to Help," the company acknowledges that "sometimes even longtime owners need to sell their timeshare due to life circumstances. Reduced finances, fixed incomes, declining health and other reasons may make it difficult for owners to get out and use their timeshare to explore the world.

"When you work with us to plan your timeshare exit, you'll receive information and guidance from a company you can trust. We're here to help you understand the process, every step of the way."

Trust is a key factor that is often missing in the secondary market, where third-party relief companies regularly solicit owners to hire them to get rid of timeshares. Some of those relief companies are outright scammers whose only goal is to pocket $3,000 to $5,000 in upfront fees from owners.

MVC's exit program has two prongs: a buy-back program as well as a take-back or deed-back service. Both are straightforward and efficient (in terms of time and ease of use). They also provide benefits that owners cannot always count on getting from third-party resale companies: certainty of a legal exit and relief from scammers.

MVC Will Buy Back Intervals at High Profile Resorts

RedWeek contacted MVC's owner services, then the resale department, to get details on both. Here are some examples of how the programs work, using three real-life examples of Marriott timeshares owned by one RedWeek member.

Example #1: Maui Ocean Club, Lahaina Villas, annual floating deeded week in a two-bedroom, two-bath, oceanfront unit. MVC recently offered to buy this interval for $10,200, minus a $500 administrative fee and Hawaii state tax of 7.25%. The offer applies to the 2020 usage year, which means that the owner would still be responsible for all 2019 fees and usage rights.

How does that compare to selling on the open market? Prices for identical intervals on typically range from $29,000 to $40,000. The average selling price on RedWeek for this unit is $22,326.

Example #2: Marriott's Waiohai Beach Club, Kauai, an every-other-year (EOY) floating deeded week in a two-bedroom, two-bath garden unit. MVC offered $3,250, minus the $500 administrative fee and Hawaii tax.

For comparison, identical weeks are listed for sale on RedWeek between $3,950 and $9,500. The average selling price on RedWeek for an EOY week at Waiohai is $4,678.

Example #3: Marriott's Newport Coast Villas in California, annual floating week in high (Platinum-summer) season, two-bedroom, two-bath ocean view unit. MVC offered $5,000 minus the $500 fee, for a net of $4,500.

Identical units are listed on for $3,590 to $11,000 (the highest posted asking price is $24,000, but that is more than double most of the listings). These units typically sell on RedWeek for $8,415.

The buy-back offers include the following caveats: they are guaranteed for seven days; closing should occur within 120 days. One other detail: MVC is NOT buying back any 2019 intervals. The company's offers apply to 2020 for annual ownerships and 2021 for every-other-year intervals.

Interesting to note if you're not using your timeshare: Marriott resorts are among the most popular resales and rentals on RedWeek, so you'll have no problem getting visibility if you choose to sell it, or rent it out in the meantime. Marriott does retain the right-of-first-refusal to match any offer an owner receives for their unit on the resale market, including any sales on So, they may end up buying your timeshare anyway.

MVC Accepts Deed-Backs for Same Year of Usage

Marriott's surrender or deed-back program has operated, below radar, for several years, usually in the context of taking back properties from owners in default because of hardship (financial, medical, or familial). As one Marriott representative said, "this is not something we advertise." The terms are simple: IF the company wants to take back ownership of a specific deeded week, MVC will prepare the documents and close the transaction within 90 days.

Uncertain, still, is how the company plans to deal with exit programs for owners who bought Destination Points, rather than deeded weeks. Points owners belong to a trust that owns multiple properties; they do not own deeds to specific properties.

For comparison, owners of Marriott Destination Points have sold their stakes on RedWeek for $3.50 or more per point. Marriott sells points on the retail market, at sales presentations, for three times that amount.

Wyndham Says Its Ovation Program Has Helped "Thousands" of Owners Divest their Timeshares

The timeshare developer industry has been slow to adopt exit programs despite the growth of the secondary market, where thousands of owners have sought ways to get rid of their timeshare contracts. RedWeek's 2.6 million subscriber base, a large percentage of owners, is a testament to the size of that market where owners try to sell and/or rent their intervals online.

The industry's dynamic started to change four years ago, when Wyndham, the world's largest timeshare company, introduced its "Ovation" exit program for longtime members of Club Wyndham. Diamond Resorts unveiled a similar sounding "Transitions" exit program two years later. Both programs are selective, meaning the companies don't take back all intervals --- only the ones they want, which typically means deeded weeks at high-demand destinations.

As part of RedWeek's research into Marriott's exit program, we asked Wyndham for an update on Ovation. In an e-mail, Wyndham offered the following:

"Wyndham Destinations reaffirms its commitment to putting our owners first, by providing simple, safe and secure exit options for those owners who have fulfilled their vacation ownership goals," said Jeff Zorovich, senior vice president of owner services and club management. "Since the introduction of Ovation in early 2015, we helped thousands of owners exit their ownership with peace of mind, and without any additional costs."

Consumers Want Practical Exit Solutions

The emergence of profitable exit-and-relief companies — some of whom are being sued by developers for interfering with timeshare contracts — explains why the industry is beginning to consider exit solutions for their owners. The other factor is just plain good business that works for owners and developers. Many longtime owners simply want viable solutions for getting out of their timeshares. Developers who offer legitimate exit programs, meanwhile, can reclaim valuable inventory at high-value resorts at low or no cost which they can sell, all over again, at current retail prices for their points programs. A workable, consumer-friendly exit program also enables brand-name developers to protect their reputation from the advertising claims of third-party exit-and-relief companies that denigrate the whole concept of timeshare ownership as part of their pitches to solicit owners who are desperate to divest their timeshares.

One remaining overriding question: Will Marriott, which recently bought a competitor company, Interval Leisure Group, former owner of the Hyatt, Vistana (Westin and Sheraton), Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis timeshare companies, extend Marriott's exit-strategies to those high-end companies? Since the ILG purchase just completed Sept. 1, only time will tell. RedWeek will keep you posted, since the answer to that question will impact millions of timeshare owners.

More Information

About the author

This answer was provided by RedWeek contributor, 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


  • Avatar for susanm430
    Oct 09, 2018 (2 years ago)

    Could you comment on if there is a buy back program for Diamond Resort members?

  • Avatar for jeff_reports
    Oct 09, 2018 (2 years ago)

    Diamond Resorts introduced a "Transitions" program two years ago, but it is not a full-scale exit program. Diamond will take back intervals that it wants to resell. It will not take back all intervals. The program is discretionary on Diamond's part. It is only offered, so far, to members of Diamond's Club. It is not available to members of other clubs that were acquired by Diamond (Intrawest, among others). Owners who want to surrender their Diamond weeks should call owner services for information and details. Diamond does not offer a buy-back program. It advises owners who want to sell their timeshares to use timeshare realtors and third-party listing companies (such as RedWeek). Diamond also enforces, periodically, its ban on owners who try to rent their units.

  • Avatar for david1985
    Oct 09, 2018 (2 years ago)

    Great report. I own a platinum week at Marriott Newport Cost Villas. Don't plan on selling at this time Wondering if also the perks go along with the new owners? Like what you get with the Marriott Vacation Club.

  • Avatar for michaeld1351
    Oct 12, 2018 (2 years ago) • Updated Oct 12, 2018 03:23 PM

    I own a prime week at a Starwood property (Vistana) in Princeville Kauai do you know who or how I might sell my property now that they 2 companies have merged?

  • Avatar for fredericks46
    Oct 20, 2018 (2 years ago)


  • Avatar for patriciab945
    Sep 29, 2019 (1 year ago)

    We originally bought thru Vistana with 8 properties. This is based on a point system on time you have per year. Has concerned me with coming to the age of SS income & no company retirement benefits. Any time have called Vistana asking about a buy back or timeshare exit, they have shown no concern with a person's situation. Basically a flat No answer. This is a very uncomfortable scary situation that someone is stuck when they paid for something & have a deed for property. Does Marriott treat a person's situation of needing to sell the same as Vistana?

  • Avatar for helenl32
    Dec 30, 2019 (1 year ago) • Updated Dec 30, 2019 08:17 AM

    I just called Marriott regarding my Platinum timeshare at Atlantis which is High Season. It was a Starwood property (Vistana) They said they have NO program at this time to offer about release from this timeshare. Yes, just a blanket outright "NO".

  • Avatar for calbears46
    Jan 17, 2020 (11 months ago)

    Here is a shorter answer: NO. That is why there is a class action law suit in affect today in Florida. It deals with devaluing the points, fraud of the sales pitch and other salient issues. For you poor guys that bought into the points, you have a smaller pool of travel/vacation experiences. By this I mean, with the deeded 2 weeks that I have in Marriott's Desert Springs Villas 1, I have ways I can sell/trade it in at INterval, Redweek, even craigslist. What do the points have in this regard...nothing. I do you trade the points for one week at XYZ. Maybe it is possible but I don't kniow. I also can deduct the depreciation of the real estate asset itself...not so with points. I always go the get the $150.00 coupon for dinner. IN the presentations I always bring the law suit and the possibilty of buying the points back or selling in the open market. There is a flat NO and the mechanism for the open market is not really defined. ANyway, my ten cents.....Happy New years guys.

  • Avatar for maxm87
    Feb 03, 2020 (11 months ago) • Updated Feb 03, 2020 09:54 AM

    No, you will not get anything from your investment, whatever you have paid. My advise, to no deal with them. This is the type of answer you will receive, and this is not a joke!

    "At this time, MVW is offering an opportunity for you to relinquish your ownership, a direct deed back, at no cost to you. While this transaction will not result in any financial proceeds, it is a quick way to exit the program and eliminate your ongoing annual maintenance fee commitment. The anticipated time to complete the ownership transfer is 90 days. The first-year occupancy to MVW will be 2021; therefore, you will retain any remaining usage balance for prior years and you will be responsible for the maintenance fees associated with those use years.* Any usage option or reservation you have made for 2021 will be cancelled. Should you subsequently terminate the repurchase transaction, we cannot guarantee the reinstatement of any 2021 reservation or usage option that may have been previously confirmed for you. The offer to deed back your ownership is valid for the next 7 business days and is subject to change at any time with or without notice."

  • Avatar for fredericks46
    Feb 03, 2020 (11 months ago)

    I once received that same message. I think the additional slap in the face is that at least in St Kitts, MVC gets a first right of refusal even if you find your own buyer. I don't think they would use it but who knows ? I finally opted for the Destinations Program. I resisted for years but suddenly found out that there is no longer a fee to join it. Found this by accident while speaking with someone at MVC. Now I can use the week, rent it myself, or take the points for some sort of vacation elsewhere. I am not surprised that there are law suits. I was clearly told that Marriott would assist with a re-sale, with a rental (never once have they accepted it), or trade for Bonvoy points which does NOT give you anything remotely equivalent. Live and learn.

  • Avatar for alh62
    Mar 20, 2020 (9 months ago)

    Just came across this forum and thought I would throw my 2 cents in.At one point I owned a red week with Marriott at Royal Palms in Orlando and probably about 10 yrs later purchased a blue week at Marriott Grande Ocean Resort in Hilton Head. Marriott was one time color blind and you could trade a blue week for a red week usually with very little problem by just paying the Interval Int fee. Then they wised up and blue was not much benefit unless you enjoyed traveling in the off season. I purchased my Grande Ocean week at a Marriott Resale Center located in a villa on the grounds of the Grand Ocean resort in 2000. The Marriott Sales Center was charging $9k for a blue week and the Marriott Resale Center charged $5.5 K.... so I saved quite a bit and got all the benefits since it was sold by Marriott themselves. Several years after purchasing at Grand Ocean I decided to sell the unit at Royal Palms. Back then Marriott had a program to sell your unit. There was a ridiculous commission of 30% or 40% as I recalled but it included all fees. It took awhile but they actually sold it and I even made a few dollars off the sale. Fast forward to now about 17 yrs later and I want to unload the Grande Ocean week. Its still a great place, and they keep it like new, for a price. My maintenance fee has gone from about $750 when purchased around 2000, to something like $1461 now in 2020. It is no longer worth it as I no longer have the same family situation and no longer bring 6 or 7 people with me. The other thing that rubs me the wrong way is that I like to go down in early December..... no crowds, no heat, no bugs. Thing is I find a lot of people there at this time bought cheap timeshares (only paid a few hundred $) with much cheaper maintenance fees then trade them through places like RCI and II and end up staying there a lot cheaper than what I paid in maint. fees each year. Furthermore they have no obligation to continue paying the unreasonable fees Marriott passes along to its owners years after years. Marriott does now offer a buyback program but only for limited resorts and limited seasons. They will pay you pennies on the dollar and turn around and sell it again at an exaggerated price. If they opt not to repurchase the week they may offer you a way to unload it with their deed back program. You walk away with absolutely nothing but they do pick up the closing costs, transfer fees etc. If your objective is only to avoid paying the maint fee in the future the program works just fine. Whatever you invested in it initially (use the term invested loosely) is lost. It's tough to even give one of these away these days let alone recoup some of your capital. With a deeded week the obligation exists in perpetuity and is passed on to your heirs. Over the past few years I have checked with a number or realtors and the legit ones which take no upfront money have no interest in attempting to resell them on your behalf. You can always find plenty of companies that tell you what you want to hear but also take a good bit of money upfront. Typically that will be the last you hear from them unless you want to extend the contract with them...... for another fee of course.