Owning a timeshare gives you the right to enjoy a resort vacation once a year -- at but you've also got the "right" of paying the annual maintenance fees. If you want to unload your timeshare, there may be a deed back clause in your purchase contract or the resort may have a deed back program. A deed back clause or program allows you to give your timeshare back to the resort. Until then, you remain responsible for paying the maintenance and special assessment fees along with your mortgage payments.
Deed Back Contract Clause
If your contract has a deed back clause, you can relinquish all ownership rights to the resort if you meet the conditions. Most resorts won’t accept a deed back if you’re behind in your maintenance payments or have a mortgage on the property. Because you’re essentially giving the property back, no money changes hands. You’ll forfeit any equity you’ve built up in the property but have no further financial obligations either.
Deed Back Program
If your contract has no deed back clause, you may be able to give your timeshare back under a deed back program. To qualify, most resorts insist that all maintenance fees and special assessment fees are paid in full. Another consideration is how close the resort is to being sold out. If the resort is holding a large number of unsold timeshares, it may refuse to accept your deed back. Some resorts have a deed back program wherein you sell the timeshare back to the resort at a small fraction of the timeshare’s market value.
Deed Back Documents
Most resorts require the same standard documents when deeding back a timeshare. You must fill out the resort’s timeshare transfer form to start the process. To legally transfer ownership, most resorts will accept a quitclaim deed. You’ll also need to provide a copy of the original deed when you first purchased the timeshare. If the resort has a buyback program, you’ll include a waiver of right of first refusal. You’ll have to send the transfer fees along with the other deed back documents. Some resorts also require you provide proof that any mortgages on the property are paid in full.
Deed Back Alternatives
If your resort won’t accept your timeshare back, you can look at other alternatives. Many resorts will rent out your timeshare for you and use the proceeds to pay your maintenance fees. You can sell the timeshare yourself or list it with a timeshare realtor. Read the listing agreement before you sign. Think twice if a company demands an up-front fee to market your timeshare. Some companies advertising as timeshare resellers are in reality scammers who take your money and disappear. Check with your state’s real estate commission to ensure the person handling the sale is a licensed realtor in good standing.
Based in St. Petersburg, Fla., Karen Rogers covers the financial markets for several online publications. She received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of South Florida.