Timeshare agreements have garnered a pretty unsavoury reputation over the last couple of decades.
They’re a long term agreement and they can be notoriously difficult to get out of once you’ve signed on the dotted line.
We’ve outlined a couple of tips to help you make sure you’re making the right decision and to avoid getting scammed!
Make sure its right for you
Remember, a timeshare is not like a normal property investment. It is highly unlikely that it will rise in value and you won’t be able to sell it for anything close to what you paid for it.
You’ve also got to remember that once you’re tied into an agreement, you’re locked into this holiday destination for a long time.
If it’s somewhere you like going then great, but are you sure you’ll want to be go back there year on year for five or ten years?
Maybe once you get older the idea of travelling long distances may not appeal to you as much.
The maintenance fees which are often cited as one of the main problems of timeshares have to be paid for the length of the agreement, even if you don’t use the property.
Are you in a financial position to be making these payments, even if you retire?
These are all things you must consider before buying a timeshare.
Be prepared for the hard sell
The timeshare presentation is notorious for being a high pressure environment where salespeople will try to rush you into signing an agreement.
Its crucial that at these presentations and meetings you are on your guard and making extra sure that you’re not signing up for something that may come to regret!
Presentations can last multiple hours, and sometimes salespeople may literally just try to wear you down, so that you sign something just so you can get out of there!
If this is the case, remember that you are entitled to leave at any point.
Make sure that you and your partner are given proper time and space to come to a decision, and don’t be fooled if they claim to have made you a special one-day-only discount!
It’s always better to have time to read over everything and sleep on it before making a decision, so we’d recommend never signing up to anything at the meeting!
Leave your card at home if you need to!
Know what you’re signing up for
Once you do decide to go ahead with a timeshare, you’re tied into an agreement that can be very hard to get out of, so make sure you do your homework!
Check out the company you’re buying from and make sure they’ve got a good history/reputation.
Before you sign anything, get a lawyer to look over the contract. The Timeshare Consumer Association is an independent firm which specialises in helping out customers in the timeshare industry.
Most importantly check the contract for your cancellation rights and make sure you have these in writing, this can come in very handy later on if you try to cancel the contract.
If you sign an agreement in the UK (or any other European Economic Area country) then you are entitled to cancel your timeshare agreement within in 14 day cooling off period, and it is a criminal offence for timeshare companies to request or take any money from you in this period.