The timeshare market is constantly changing, especially as many longtime owners approach the moment of truth — when, for many reasons, they want or need to sell their timeshare.
For this guide on Selling Marriott Vacation Club (MVC), we teamed up with industry veteran, Shelley Preece of TransAction Realty. With Shelley’s help, we’ll explore the Marriott resale market and identify any obstacles or issues owners should consider when selling their Marriott Vacation Club timeshare, including:
Determining What You Own
The first step in preparing to sell your timeshare is to get all your paperwork in order, to know all the basic information about your Marriott timeshare ownership. Documents to look for in your records would be your:
- Purchase Contract agreement
- Last maintenance fee bill
- Last tax bill
- Any other assessments
These documents should provide you with important information, such as:
- How your name appears on the ownership (husband and wife, or maybe in your trust, for example)
- The name of your resort, if applicable
- Your resort inventory number
- Whether you own a floating week within a season or a fixed week
- If you have annual or every-other-year-usage
- Your current maintenance fee dues
- Your annual award month for points and the number of points, if part of the Destinations program
You can also call Marriott Owners Services and the phone representatives will go over all aspects of your Marriott ownership details with you, explaining exactly what you own. Be prepared to take good notes of your conversation! Marriott phone numbers can be found on the maintenance fee and assessment notices.
You can also log in to your online account at my-vacationclub.com and and find information about your ownership there too.
Determining Exactly What You’re Selling:
If you’re putting your Marriott unit up for sale, you are selling a timeshare that is either a legacy week, or part of a points package. It’s important, as a seller, to understand the system you’re selling.
You will also need to take inventory of any outstanding reservations or commitments you have, to be able to communicate effectively to your potential buyers what is available to them. Questions to answer regarding the current calendar year as well as the upcoming year:
- Do you have any existing reservations?
- Have you used your vacation time or points?
- Have you made any deposits (week or points) into Interval International?
- Did you elect to convert your usage into Destination Points or Reward Points?
- Have you rented your vacation usage for either year?
- If you are a Club Destinations owner, how many points are available for use right now?
You can’t sell your vacation ownership if you can’t tell a potential buyer what they may or may not have available to them to use this year or next for vacationing, so these answers are critical and must be absolutely accurate. Don’t guess or try to remember. If you are not absolutely sure, contact Marriott Owner Services and a reservation representative will help you. Again, be prepared to take good notes of your conversation.
Restrictions on Your Ability to Sell
If you are behind on maintenance fees, taxes, and assessments, that will dampen your ability to sell. Make sure you are current on everything before you move forward.
Marriott holds a “right of first refusal” (ROFR) option on any proposed sale at most, but not all, of the resorts in the Marriott Vacation Club timeshare collection.
This means that once you have a buyer ready to buy your Legacy Week or Club Destination ownership and the buyer has signed a contract, you must send a copy of the contract to Marriott and ask them if they would like to buy it for the same price and terms (exercise their ROFR option), or not buy it (waive their ROFR option).
Marriott has a set number of days to reply to your request and the number of days varies by resort. You can ask if your resort has this requirement and the response time by e-mailing Marriott at owner.modifications at vacationclub.com, or use a broker who will handle this all for you.
If Marriott exercises this option, they will then become the buyer and will move forward with the purchase — the buyer cannot buy it. If Marriott waives this option, you may conclude your sale with your intended buyer.
Please note: you must have a buyer-signed contract to send to Marriott for them to examine, and to make a determination regarding the ROFR option. It doesn’t work just to contact them and ask, “Do you want to buy this?”
Marriott’s decision to exercise their ROFR option is based on many factors: the price, resort, demand, matching the company’s needs, and brand protection are just a few. The company also uses this right to intercept low or bargain-priced sales that would otherwise decrease demand for their retail and resale sales.
Resale Restrictions to Disclose to Your Buyer
Those who buy Marriott legacy weeks on the secondary market inherit all rights to use their timeshare, reserve in advance, and exchange through II — but they do not become members of the Destination points program (even if you elected your week to points), and they cannot convert their weekly timeshare into annual Marriott Rewards points, which are used for nightly hotel stays.
If you’re selling points, your buyer will not be able to use the product until they pay Marriott’s fees to enroll in the Destinations program. This is not necessarily bundled into the closing, so you need to make absolutely sure your buyer understands this requirement. Marriott increased these fees in July, 2014 to $3,000 for ownerships of 1,500 points or less, plus another $500 for every additional 250 points. There is also a $300 education fee that will be waived if the new owner is already a Club Destination owner.
How to Price Your Timeshare
You can test your timeshare’s worth by looking at asking prices for similar weeks at the same resort on online marketplaces. The price will always depend on size of unit, view, location, season and usage (annual or EOY). For Marriott Vacation Club Destinations points owners, the allotment of points is the most important factor. Keep in mind, a quick check of prices will show what prices other owners are listing their timeshares for — but not necessarily what they sold them for.
Closing Costs, Commissions, and Fees
The Marriott fee for Marriott Legacy Week (USA based) transfers is $25, plus a $95 Right of First Refusal Processing Fee. The transfer fees for Marriott Legacy Weeks (non USA based) ownerships vary and can be obtained by e-mailing a request to Marriott at owner.modifications at vacationclub.com.
For points, you will also pay the $95 ROFR research fee. Although not necessarily part of the closing, significant fees are charged to the buyer before they can use the Destinations product.
Whether you’re selling legacy weeks or Club Destination points ownerships, they are both real estate transactions, so there will be real estate closing costs involved. The closing costs will vary by state and sales price, as well as escrow and title services, title and liability coverage provided. Some costs included in such a transaction include (but not limited to): commissions, transfer fees, activation fees, estoppel and documentation fees, title transfer fees, title insurance (if applicable), stamp and tax fees, etc. Note: not all the fees listed apply to all timeshare resale transactions.
Considerations for Doing it Yourself
Doing it yourself, as with the sale of a home, is possible and less-expensive, but more complicated. You can easily advertise your timeshare on your own, but once you find a buyer, you will have a bit of work to do.
Some things to consider: You will need to prepare a sales contract, negotiate closing costs, set up escrow for the transfer of the funds, handle the right-of-first-refusal paperwork, record the deed, and submit the documentation to Marriott to process the title change.
Types of Professional Assistance Available
If you don’t want to do it yourself and want full representation, then you should list your ownership for sale with a licensed real estate broker/agent who specializes in the sale of timeshare and vacation ownerships. This type of specialized licensed broker will research comparable sold prices, the number of identical listings on the market and their prices, and what buyers have been offering for identical ownerships and other market factors to give you valuable information about what the resale market is for your timeshare ownership. They will work with you to get it listed and set up through broker-only MLS services and other professional marketing avenues that will give you a good chance to get it sold.
Commissions and selling fees vary by Broker, and this amount will be discussed with you when you decide on the listing price for your ownership, and will be included in your listing agreement. You will not, and should not, pay any broker or agent a selling fee or commission, until they have sold your timeshare.
Special thanks to Shelley Preece for help in developing this Marriott Seller’s Guide. Shelley is a Real Estate Agent who has been handling timeshare resales since 1990 at TransAction Realty. She is also the Principal Broker of Shelley C. Preece Realty in Nevada. Shelley is a member of ARDA and a charter member of the Licensed Timeshare Resale Brokers Association (LTRBA), where she recently completed 8 years as an Executive Officer on the Board of Directors.
You may reach Ms. Preece by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone or text at 801-661-1763 MST.