We all know that the timeshare buying process is daunting, and it might seem like the salesperson is either the devil incarnate or your best friend- neither of which is true. Everyone has something to say about timeshare, but who should you listen to? We asked Lisa Ann Schreier a former timeshare salesperson and now the consumer advocate known as The Timeshare Crusader for her thoughts. Here are the 5 pieces of advice she thought were worth sharing.
- Understand all the costs involved. It is not just the purchase price, which averages more than $20,000 when buying from the developer. Thereâ€™s the annual maintenance fees which rise over time, usage fees, reservation fees, exchange company membership fees and the occasional special assessments. In one notorious case, a developer assessed owners over $5,000 for water intrusion.
- Using your timeshare is not as easy as the salesperson makes it out to be. You’re not going to be able to pick up the phone or go online and book a winter vacation in Vail or Kauai two or three months out. There are rules that you need to fully understand in order to use your timeshare and it’s never as simple or easy as booking a hotel.
- It makes all the difference in the world if you own a fixed week, floating week or a point based timeshare.Each time has its pros and cons. For instance a point based system may offer more flexibility in usage, but the majority of them are not inflation proof so you might find yourself continually having to buy more to do what you want to do.|
- Timeshares are not investments, have extremely low resale value and many come with restrictions for anyone purchasing on the secondary market. If you owe on it, your chances of selling it are slim to none.
- Despite the proliferation of so-called exit companies, it’s nearly impossible to be released from your financial responsibilities of a timeshare once the legal rescission/cancellation period has lapsed. It’s not unusual for people to be scammed out of thousands of dollars and still owe on the timeshare.
Lisa Ann Schreier has been involved in the timeshare community since 1998. After cutting her teeth as a timeshare salesperson and manager at a number of Orlando area resorts, she grew increasingly frustrated with the antiquated marketing and high pressure sales techniques that were (and sadly still are) the norm in the industry.
Seeking to be a catalyst for positive change, she wrote Surviving A Timeshare Presentation…Confessions From The Sales Table and Timeshare Vacations For Dummies. In addition, she co-authored the definitive college level textbook on timeshare. She is a frequent contributor to major media outlets and a sought after speaker at consumer advocacy groups.
In addition to her articles at SeniorNews.com, she is on the Advisory Board of ConsumerAffairs.com where she ensures that content is unbiased, accurate and helpful for consumers as well serving as the lead timeshare advocate at Elliott.org and a featured blogger on RockStarFinance.com.
Her tell it like it is blog (https://thetimesharecrusader.blogspot.com) covering timeshare issues is a source of solid information and continues to alert consumers to the myriad of less than reputable companies and practices.
Twitter users can follow her at @LisaLooksAt
Questions? Looking for assistance? Email Lisa a firstname.lastname@example.org