The Disney Vacation Club is a marvelous program that I strongly endorsed to all my friends and family members. I’m such an evangelist that they probably wish that I’d sometimes shut up about it. Despite my passionate support of Disney Vacation Club, I understand that it’s not for everyone.
What You Need to Know When Selling DVC
I recognize that current members may want to sell their ownership interests at certain points. Maybe you have a better use for the money or a personal issue that will prevent you from traveling for quite some time. Whatever the explanation, your reasons are valid. And should you change your mind at a later date, you can always buy back into the program. For now, you have a more pressing need for information. Here are the aspects you should think about when you sell your Disney Vacation Club (DVC) ownership interest.
Why do you want to sell?
You should have a firm grasp of your purpose when you sell your contract. Are you selling for financial reasons? If so, are they that you need money or that you no longer want your capital tied up in the DVC program? The latter aspect is particularly important since some facts could cause you to reconsider. DVC is the rare timeshare-esque program whose value has consistently beaten the inflation rate over the years. After some research, you may discover that holding on to your contract is a viable option.
In such a scenario, rather than selling your ownership interest, you’d sell or “rent” your annual DVC points to either an individual or a DVC rental company. You’d receive $13 or so per point, giving you a quick cash influx while keeping you in the program. The major DVC rental programs (including our own at The Timeshare Store) are trustworthy. Dealing with an individual is a riskier proposition. On a personal level, I’ve had only positive exchanges, but in a very small sample size, I did encounter three clear con artists.
The other downside is that you’re still responsible for maintenance fees even when you don’t personally spend the points. The cost of the maintenance fees eats up some of the profit you earned by “renting” your points. Anyone on the fence about selling should carefully evaluate the amount of money you’ll earn for the year. The DVC point rental system is a way to kick the can down the road a year or two when you’re truly unsure about whether you should quit DVC.
Which resale vendor should you use?
Once you’ve determined that you’re ready to sell your DVC ownership interest, you should look at it as a true real estate transaction. You have property that you want to sell. As with any other investment, you want to sell at the highest possible price to maximize your profit. Part of your decision making in reaching this goal involves how you choose to sell your property.
You have several options, some of which are kind of odd. Some owners list their properties on eBay and Craigslist. This blows my mind, as I cannot imagine someone thinking, “I’m sure this random stranger on Craigslist is being 100 percent forthcoming about owning 200 points at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas.” That’s Nigerian Prince territory on the Scammer Scale. Still, some people do this. You obviously should not. It’s a quick way to give away your DVC points to a criminal.
Along those lines, I would avoid using any service that sells other timeshares mainly with a few DVC properties on the side. I say this because you want an expert whom you can trust about the minutiae of DVC resales. General timeshare dealers lack that knowledge.
I made this mistake with a company and wound up waiting almost half a year for my transaction to complete. They failed to mention that we were buying a deed held up in court during a divorce proceeding. Companies like The Timeshare Store, Inc.® will warn you about such potential pitfalls, and the extra level of customer service will make a difference during the resales process.
Along those lines, you should pick a company that is quick to return your messages. I speak from experience when I say that The Timeshare Store, Inc.® is great about this, and it’s a subtle but important facet of the purchase process. Any business that’s slow to respond to you, the seller, will also respond slowly to customers. Such behavior potentially costs you business, as some of those disgruntled customers won’t buy any products listed with the company that has your listing.
The Importance of Search Engines
On one final note on the topic, you should choose a DVC resales company that scores high on Google. It’s a hidden aspect of the seller process that’s actually crucial to your maximizing profit. Should you select a company that isn’t on the front page of Google (preferably in the top five), a minuscule number of people will see your listing.
Research suggests that 91 percent of Google users never scroll to page two. It’s such a known issue that digital marketers joke that the best place to hide a dead body is on page two of Google. Simply by choosing a DVC resales company on page two, you’ve statistically eliminated 10 out of every 11 (!) potential customers.
Summarizing all of these concerns, you want to pick a reliable vendor with plenty of referrals and a strong Google presence. While you may have a strong understanding of how the marketplace works and which vendors are reliable, you shouldn’t assume that someone new to DVC will have the same awareness. So, go with the most reliable business that’s DVC-focused and suits your needs.
Do you need money now?
This point circles back to one I mentioned casually earlier. When I made my first DVC points purchase, the process took approximately six months from start to finish. That’s a period of time where the seller didn’t get their money, and we didn’t get our DVC contract.
You should go into a potential transaction with open eyes on the subject of money. You can only control so much of the process. While you may sign your contracts the instant they hit your inbox, the other party might be flaky. And a DVC resales agent cannot exactly fly to that person’s location and force them to sign, either. We expect people to show courtesy on such matters but not everyone does.
When you receive offers, you should level with your DVC resales agent. Let them know if you need to get paid quickly. They may have suggestions about motivated buyers or previous customers who are trustworthy and courteous. It’s one of the reasons why customer service is so important when selecting a resales agent. Some will go above and beyond the call of duty to satisfy their clients.
When you need money quickly, you should lead with that information. That way, all parties involved will know that you’re in search of a smooth, quick transaction. You don’t have to scream “motivated seller” or anything since that could lead to lower bids. Just be honest about where you’re at and trust the resales agent that you’ve carefully chosen to take care of your needs.
Will you sell all points?
This is one of the messier conversations about DVC contracts. I don’t have statistics or anything, but many people I know who have bought into the program have done so in increments. In other words, they own more than one contract.
Assuming that you’re one of those people, you’ll need to decide something else. You’ll want to pick whether you want to divest yourself of all your points. If you have multiple contracts, you may prefer to keep one (or more) for your own needs. Then, you’ll sell the others to increase your bank account.
Here are a couple of things that you should consider. The DVC market, like all other aspects of the real estate industry, relies on the overall strength of the economy. When the economy is strong (like right now), all real estate prices increase. This explains why The Walt Disney Company recently announced historic price increases for the various DVC properties.
I point this out for twin reasons in this discussion. DVC resales inventory is at historic lows right now, making this the ultimate seller’s market. By selling immediately, you’ll receive more for your DVC contract than ever before. Conversely, you may want to keep some contracts to maximize profit.
The impending arrival of Star Wars Land: Galaxy’s Edge is certain to bring more awareness to Walt Disney World than it’s had in years. Your ownership interest could increase even more in value over the next calendar year, but it’s like any other risk/reward transaction. You’re unlikely to time the market to sell at the highest point.
Should you spend your points first?
This question depends entirely on the situation. You should ask your resales agent for advice on this particular point. Resales agents list some contracts as “stripped,” which is to say that they have no points available for the current year and possibly even the following year. Those contracts don’t sell for as much per point as contracts that have regular points attached.
Should you have even more points than normal thanks to the banking process, you’ll benefit from the market behavior. You’ll earn more per point since you have a contract with bonus DVC points available. Customers like me love those since they mean extra trips to Disney in the short term. We’re willing to pay more for those points. I always target these stacked contracts since every moment I spend at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is life’s truest perfection.
Why should you ask your agent? You still have that previously discussed option to rent your points. You’ll want to find out the current pricing difference for a full contract as opposed to a stripped or stacked one. Then, make the calculation about whether you’ll make more money renting points first before selling your contract. You need to understand that you cannot transfer your DVC interest as long as you have points out for rental, though. So, you’re delaying the date of sale by using this slightly unorthodox methodology.
Again, the choices here are ultimately up to you. All of these discussions should be transparent with your agent. By taking such steps, you’re certain to do the best possible job of selling your DVC contract at the highest price. That’s the key benefit of choosing the right DVC resales agent. They’ll take care of your needs as a seller.
Author: David Mumpower