Trying to Sell a Bluegreen Timeshare? Featured

Information that Every Listing Needs to Attract More Potential Buyers:

Number of Points Annual or EOY
Anniversary date of points (aka Earn date)
Deeded location (Home Resort) Deeded week and unit
Trust Fund & Sales Type (or maintenance fee due date)
Maintenance Fee Amount
Are any Mortgage or Maintenance fees still owed or paid off?
Number of points remaining for the current year
Who pays transfer fees (currently $450)

For example: Resort 'x' 10 K points Annual, Trust Fund E Sales Type Y,Unit 807, Week 36

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PURPOSE:

It is possible to sell some deeds. Sales happen all the time.

There may be only a few or even just one person that wants it, but under certain conditions it can be sold. Getting the best possible price requires some basic knowledge, encouraging a perception of value (where is does exist), and including all of the above information in your listing.

Many cannot be sold, but all too often people just blankly post that deeds have to be given away. Sometimes it is a seller’s approach that makes it harder. If you are going to transfer your ownership, are you willing to put in the work to at least try to sell it?

Even if you are willing to give away your Bluegreen ownership, and pay all transfer fees yourself, people will want the above information. (Below I will explain why.)

Buyers will find it helpful to understand the other side of the sales transaction. This also covers some details about BG, and might give you some things to consider in your investigations.

WHAT IS TRUST FUND / SALES TYPE?
• Trust Fund = HOW maintenance fees (MF) are calculated
• Sales Type = WHEN maintenance fees (MF) are due
All buyers REQUIRE this information. If a buyer does not match their existing Trust Fund they risk paying much more in maintenance fees. (Some trust funds have a base fee plus a charge per point; others have no base fee and charge more per point.)

Your original paperwork will have a terms and conditions document which lists this info.
Alternatively, you can call BG to ask. You can ask how your maintenance fees are calculated. The person that can answer this MUST know your Trust Fund, in order to know which maintenance fee formula to apply.

If you do not know your Sales Type you can post when your maintenance fees are due. Many people will know your sales type from that information.

There is no one fund that is ‘best’ for every situation. Above 12,000 points Trust Fund E will be the cheapest. For someone only owning fewer points it can be better to stick with Trust Fund D. If a deed is really desirable (for other reasons) it just might worthwhile to mix your Trust Funds.

Some Trust Fund E owners prefer to stick to Sales Type Y. If a Trust Fund E deed with Sales Type A and a Sales Type Y are registered by the same owner, then all deeds automatically convert to Sales Type A. This does not raise your costs in the long run; it only changes due dates.

When adding a Trust Fund E deed, it must be registered with the same names as your existing ownerships to avoid paying a second ‘base fee’. Smart buyers will be careful.

Owners will be paying these fees for many years after an initial purchase. It represents a larger share of one’s overall costs in the long run. This makes it a very important issue for some buyers.

WHY DOES IT MATTER WHAT MY LOCATION / DEEDED ARE?

This is one of the factors that make a deed significantly more valuable or less valuable to a buyer. There are two reasons that location might set your deed apart and not just like any others.

The first reason applies to people who only own resales. They will only get Bonus Time only at the resorts where they own. Adding a deed at a favored destination allows an owner to conserve points.

A more important reason is that a BG ownership is associated with a specific location/week/unit.

EVERY owner is guaranteed this deeded time / unit if booked 13 months in advance. You cannot be stopped from getting this exact location and unit for the specified time period. It may be a full week, or only a partial week.

Your points are considered 'used' by picking this option. Otherwise, the time becomes available to other owners for bookings and your points get posted on your account.

Your original timeshare paperwork lists your location/week/unit in the Terms and Conditions document. It will be listed on your estoppel document if you have one. At least post the string of characters from this paperwork if unsure how to translate it. (Someone can help you figure out what exactly it means.)

You may have to call BG if you cannot find the terms and conditions section of your purchase paperwork.

This preferred usage applies to EVERYONE, even if a BG Sales Rep did NOT explain this to you. If sales staff carefully told this part to buyers, might they ask for a different location?

Please ask in Facebook groups if you do not clearly understand deeded time at least well enough to see why some people care about it. This aspect is one way to increase interest.

Many buyers will not care about location, but, for a few locations people will pay a significantly higher purchase price. Which locations you ask? The list is very subjective. (Ebay shows the final purchase price. Follow those auctions if you have any doubts about this fact.)

WHY DO THEY CARE ABOUT BONUS TIME?

Bonus Time (BT) lets an owner book rooms in Bluegreen resorts (48 days online / 45 days by phone) for cash. The rate is generally lower then hotel rooms of comparable value. Sometimes it can be cheaper than using points, or extends the points that one has.

The way to figure out if it is cheaper is to take your total annual fees (dues and maintenance fees) and divide that by the number of points you own. Let’s say you pay 8 cents (per point) in annual fees, and your desired BG resort destination charges 1,000 points per night. Your cost for using points is $80 / night. Compare this with Bonus Time rates.

Some people will not care about Bonus Time. They believe that one can rent points from another owner for less than their own annual cost per point. The cost of renting points might or might not be less than BT, but one gets to book more than two months in advance.

Some people see buying direct from BG (with Charter Benefits) to gain BT ‘everywhere’ as less important, and will stick to only owning resale. They may be willing to spend a little money for what they consider the “right” resale home resort location for Bonus Time.

WHAT MAKES AN OWNERSHIP VALUABLE?

There is no set rule about what deeds have resale value. BG owners are a fairly diverse group of people. Some prefer to ski, while others want Florida beaches. Some want a place in driving distance. Often it is not be the deed location itself that makes it more attractive.

Some resorts have a very limited number of BG units, or are otherwise in hot demand. Higher demand weeks can include holidays, special events (Mardi Gras, Race week, festivals, 4th of July, MLK day, leaf viewing, and so many others). These advantages are useful for a person planning to rent out weeks.

Remember that the reasons might be very personal. For example:
• favored vacation spot is near where they live
• perception that it is easier to sell at a later date
• a resort time period to fill in a gap between other deeds
• an EARN date matches what the buyer already has
• a small deed bought through Pinnacle to gain full charter privileges
• a preference for Annual points versus EOY points
The basic facts listed on the top of this document matter to most buyers, but not to the same degree.

For example, people with multiple deeds find it easier to manage points when their earn dates generally match up. (Getting all of your points around the same month is convenient.) Not everyone will have the same opinion about makes for 'a match', or whether they will tolerate a mismatch for some other advantage.

Bonus Time (BT) is good example to illustrate people's differences. One person will prefer using BT to keep their number of points and annual maintenance costs lower. Another person will own enough points so that they travel without ever needing BT. A third person will rent points from other owners rather than ever using Bonus Time, as it allows booking much further in advance.

Some people like every other year deeds, as it is easy to add only a small number of more points. This is not obvious, but an EOY deed can be used to ‘top off’ one’s points. For example, it is easier to find an 8K EOY deed than a 4K annual deed.

HOW CAN I ENHANCE ‘PERCEIVED VALUE’?

Everyone is different so we expect people to care at different degrees about the various details. It is unlikely anyone will buy your deed because of just one feature. Highlight what distinguishes your deed from others. Encourage a perception of value / specialness about your particular deed.

The key point here is to not hide one's light under a bushel. You want your listing to draw in interested parties. The above list are details that people most commonly ask about. Post as many of these details up front to (a) attract potential buyers, and (b) save yourself from wasting time/effort repeating answers.

The more people contacting you, the better the odds that one person will offer a little more than another person. Even if you won’t negotiate price, you can say ‘yes’ to whomever you want.

There is no way to know ahead of time which aspects will strike someone's fancy, so better to list as complete details about what is being sold. (If you find out more information after creating an initial listing, edit your original post.) While you may you think a particular aspect of your deed is not special, it might be seen as an advantage by someone else.

Consider the example of a listing for a used car with leather seats and new tires. Neither fact will result in a sale, but, some will find the car a little more attractive. Many may not care about a leather interior but that is only one aspect. Give people more reasons to be more interested.

Using my example, some people are screened out because they just don't want leather. It is not that they are not serious about buying in general, but no need to waste time on them.

On a bright note people do post that they are interested in buying. Deeds sell all the time. There is some perceived value out in the market (and prices change). Only you know whether or not you want to work on your own behalf and help yourself.

HOW VALUABLE, OR WHAT PRICE MIGHT I EXPECT?

Different deeds have a very different value to different people. Price is a very subjective thing.

Charter qualified owners, meaning points bought directly from BG or Pinnacle Vacations, have privileges that cannot be transferred in a private resale. (eg. Bonus Time everywhere) Pinnacle Vacations will transfer full (charter) privileges for $1.25 to $2.65 per point. For example, compare this example price times 3,000 points (which is just $3,750 to $7,950) with whatever you paid directly to Bluegreen. Prices change; investigate as needed.

Some people will buy their only qualified deed from Pinnacle to add to any resales that they already own. Expect sales to be VERY slow, and to still use / rent it while you wait for a buyer.

Many people do not consider the benefits as justifying the higher costs associated with having charter benefits. (They may already own charter points.) This further depresses sales for points with charter benefits.

Most “Charter benefits” can be replaced by a cash equivalent alternative that results in a total cost of ownership much lower for resale owners, than someone buying charter points. This raises resale prices in a private sale (outside of Pinnacle).

The more information that you have in your listing, the more interest it will generate. You will spend less time answers the same questions over and over, and more time talking price. You also help screen out people earlier -- that in the end will not be interested in your deed.

The more people contacting you then the more room you have to negotiate. Expect some people to try and negotiate you lower. They will not start by offering their top bid. IF the third person to contact you offers twice what anyone else offered, how can one know in advance that one of the first two won't be willing to offer more?

Others will expect you to go in order of posting or contacting you. (e.g. that the first person first, then the second.) This seems easier for a seller, but it really helps the buyer gain more advantage. If you are only talking to them, you might accept their deal before hearing what others offer.

Encouraging multiple contacts allows you to decide who is offering the most money. Telling someone something like ‘please let me think about it’ buys you time.

Then, you can contact the lower bidders by saying something along the lines of ‘no thanks, someone else offered $X dollars, best of luck’. ($X is the true amount you were offered, so no lying is needed.) People willing to pay more will come back with a better offer.

Everyone expects the buyer to try and talk the seller down. What is lost by telling the first two how much the highest bidder offered, if no commitments have been made?

If you state a specific asking price, of course take the first offer meeting your terms. However, even if you only want “transfer fees”, you lose nothing by stating ‘best offer’. If you don’t ask for a better offer, you won’t get it.

Consider 'total amount received' by you separate from the 'purchase price'. Some deeds have sold on e-bay and required in the fine print that the BUYER must pay the transfer fee. Some listings ask the buyer to pay for current year maintenance fees.

Keep it simple by keeping maintenance fees out of the total cost. It might be better to use up or rent out the current year's points.

Sell at least three or four months before maintenance fees are again due. The more costs you add, the less people will be willing to offer money that goes into your pocket.

If one deed is $1 and another is $600, which sounds better? Some people might not look at the fact that the $600 one has the maintenance fees already paid, and the $1 deed has $800 in maintenance fees due in three months.

In fact the $1 still sounds better. Why? If I am buying a deed I know I must pay maintenance fees anyway, but at least unpaid fees means those points are not used.

You know you are honest but a stranger does not. If you charged maintenance fees, and then used the points, the buyer has no recourse. (Sadly, this does actually happen.)

This document has no opinion on a specific numerical price.

WHY DOES IT MATTER WHO PAID THE MAINTENANCE FEES?

It matters because the seller will get less money from the sale if they prepay it. If the Seller pays maintenance fees for a Trust Fund E deed, then the Seller payment includes a $350 base fee. (The base fee amount is whatever the current base is.)

IF the Buyer ends up paying maintenance fees to BG for that same deed, then maintenance costs $350 less. The Buyer in theory already paid a base fee on their other deeds. (No need to pay two base fees, from a Buyer's point of view.)

This is ($350) less that the Buyer will put toward a purchase (i.e. total contribution). In effect, the Seller is passing along another $350 or so to Bluegreen.

BUT, I DON'T WANT TO HAGGLE - JUST WANT IT GONE?

Don't haggle or engage in a bidding war. State something like 'Make best off by June 30th', or 'Offers received by Oct 10th will be considered'. Give a specific deadline. It means that you do not have to say yes or no before that deadline.

A specific date sets a tone that you want a buyer ready to follow through without haggling back & forth, AND allows you consider (hopefully) more than one offer.

A list of prospective buyers gives you more power to make it gone. Do it more on your terms.

Another option is to say that you will not accept ‘revised offers’. Ask for the best offer up front and say that you don’t want to play one person off against another. Someone might like that you won’t play games and they will start out by offering the most that they would pay.

At the very least create a complete listing (fewer questions to answer). Wait a day or two before responding to inquiries. You can say you are being flooded with contacts and you will get back to them soon.

Only you know who really contacted you first or for how much. (You play your cards close to the chest.) Just complete business with the one person who made the best offer. If the first offer falls through you move on to the next when you are ready.

Another approach is to post on an auction style location like TUG or E-bay. State your terms clearly (e.g. who pays for closing) so there need not be any discussions. Let buyers haggle with each other through bidding.

Only you know whether or not you honestly put forth your best effort. Despite your best efforts, some deeds will just not sell.

DON’T ALL DEEDS HAVE TO BE GIVEN AWAY?

Many struggle trying to sell their deed. The problem is made worse when someone provides too few details, or try to say that it is like every other ownership. (How many people would say on a job interview that they are just an overall average worker?)

An incomplete listing means that a seller has to repeat the same answers. Potential buyers won't make an offer without certain answers. This limits the pool of offers.

A listing not getting much or any response reinforces the idea it must be given away. It might your deed, but it also might be your listing.

Some sellers think they *must* sell to the first person that contacts them. They limit the negotiations to only one person at a time. It is like giving up early.

All of these situations benefit the buyer, as this decreases the competition from buyers.

Despite your best efforts some deeds may still have to be 'given' away. Some sellers are not willing or able (e.g. health problems) to put in the required effort. Some deeds will just not receive any offer. Expect that you may end up paying a transfer fee.

IF OWNERSHIPS ARE GIVEN AWAY, WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY SALE?

By sale I am talking about the following process. An owner posts a listing someplace and finds someone to take over the ownership. Paperwork must be done and someone pays $450 to Bluegreen. This leads to the ownership being completely transferred.

Ideally the seller collects more than zero dollars from the buyer. Given the oversupply of deeds, and the desperation of some owners to get out, there are buyers still demanding a ‘free’ deed. However, not everyone gives their deed away, and there are ways to improve a seller’s odds of a payday.

WHY DO PEOPLE CARE ABOUT MY MORTGAGE / MAINTENANCE FEES STILL OWED?

BG requires these be paid off before a transfer. It improves your listing to state that these are paid up.

ANY HINTS FOR HOW TO POST MY LISTING?

Lurk on several sites for at time to watch other listings. Watch some sales on e-bay for ideas. Take a look at the details in the listing. (Ignore any marketing fluff.)

Join the Facebook group 'Bluegreen owners Buy and Sell ' and read through the Files Tab. Another good group is ‘Bluegreen Timeshare Resales ‘. There are several other documents that are very useful. (These groups are focused on buying / selling / renting.) For example, how to use PayPal for escrow money?

If you have specific questions then ask BEFORE posting your listing. Like poker, no need to tip your hand.

Start your 'sale' on a NEW POST. It is more visible when not buried in the comments of an unrelated thread.

State what the buyer should do (for example, "private message if interested"). Having the names of more potential buyers is one of the few advantages you have. Someone only offering less than you want, might be someone to contact if later you lower your price.

Whether an individual deed will or won't sell, an incomplete listing is certainly much less likely to sell. People might not read through all the comments to dig out the details. (Selling is already hard enough.) Attract more interest by editing and adding the top of the post to make it more complete.

IF you post it on e-bay, you can openly announce the sale on the various Facebook groups that are focused on selling. (Not every BG group will want to see a sale listing, but check the group rules if you have a question about it.)

DO NOT say you 'cannot use' BG. It NEVER helps any seller to be a "desperate and motivated" seller. Your reasons for selling are your own personal business. (Maybe they do not belong in the listing?)

Focus on their interests (in your offering) and not your own. Folks may ask why you are selling, especially if they are nervous about buying. Have a ready answer about why you are selling that is at least neutral about BG.

It is not the time to tell folks their 'beloved' BG is 'bad' if you believe it to be. (How many successful sales people tell you how terrible their product is?) Trashing BG is a guaranteed way to encourage people to post "helpful hints" about how you can use BG. It detracts from your mission to sell.

Worse, it may encourage other people to make negative comments about BG, the very thing you are trying to sell.

Expect people will tell you to give it away, and don't get drawn into debates. You can concede privately where needed on payment issues.

Being polite may attract other private message bidders. (Your politeness to 'rude others' only makes you look better.) In postings focus on providing the basic facts about your deed.

Have your listing up at least three months before any MF are due. It allows time for closing. Paying the transfer fee might be cheaper than having to again pay maintenance fees.

Asking a buyer to put up something (even $100, or splitting a transfer fee) increases compliance w/completing transfer paperwork (or at least some recourse if things go bad).

Even if a buyer is paying the cost for transfer it helps to 'label' it a purchase price.

ANY HINTS WHERE TO POST MY LISTING?

Free:
• Bluegreen owners Buy and Sell (facebook group)
• Bluegreen Timeshare Resales (facebook group)
• Yahoo group BGEx (it is a Bluegreen owners group)
• Timeshare users group (TUG) http://tug2.com/Home.aspx (free for members)
Fee: (not free; make certain you investigate these on your own, including all costs.)
• eBay
• Craig's list?
• Pinnacle Vacations ( pinnaclevacations.com/ ) It is the only official BG reseller, yet some report a very low success rate. Expect to use or rent while waiting for a buyer.
WHAT IS RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL (ROFR)?

Timeshare companies have what is known as ROFL. [Right of First Refusal.] In a ROFR situation Bluegreen can step in and act as the buyer, if they consider the terms favorable.

The (displaced) buyer gets their purchase price back. The seller receives the purchase price from Bluegreen. BG will expect the seller to pay the closing, unless specifically stated otherwise in your Sales Agreement. (Sales agreement is discussed later.)

After settling on a price with the buyer, consider including that amount in the purchase price. (i.e. free for the buyer.) If BG exercises ROFR then the seller gets their money back right away, which makes it less risky for them. Reason you care? You want the seller less nervous, right?

FOUND A BUYER:

One of the first things to do is to have the buyer sign a Sales Agreement. (Examples exist in the Files Tab.) This contract like document needs to be clear and specific about who pays what.

You must submit your transaction along with a sales agreement to Bluegreen to find out whether the sale will go through with Bluegreen approval. Bluegreen has [ROFR] the option to step in and becomes the buyer under the same contract terms.

For this reason, my own bias is to have it state that the Seller pays the $450 transfer fee. Include whatever amount the buyer will pay toward closing as part of the purchase price.

This makes it seem a little more expensive for Bluegreen and assures the buyer of a quick refund if Bluegreen exercises their option to buy. As an example let's say the buyer agrees to pay the $450 transfer fee and a $1 purchase price. I would list the Purchase Price as $451 and that the seller pays $450 for closing. (Net result: $1 to the seller and $450 to BG.)

State in the Sales Agreement some performance requirement (if the buyer lets you) that paperwork requests by the closing company must be responded to within a certain time period.

URL to initiate a title transfer (yourself): https://bluegreentransfers.wufoo.com/forms/bluegreen-vacations-title-transfer-request/

The $450 transfer fee is nonrefundable. It is wise to first receive at least some payment from the buyer to give you some recourse if they suddenly back out.

One option is to collect a full payment via PayPal. It helps people be less worried and makes a refund fairly easy. The only fees are those that PayPal charges.

The other option is to involve a Title company and have them hold the transfer fund in escrow. There is a cost for escrow and these start at $125. List in the Sales agreement who pays this cost.

A new owner can cancel any existing reservations. You can time the paperwork so that the sale does not finish before a reservation occurs. Also, you can require reservations in the sale terms.

WHAT IS THE MAIN ADVANTAGE OF USING A TITLE COMPANY OFER MAKING THE TRANSFER YOUSELF?

If you fill out the Bluegreen transfer form online, you must first pay a $450 transfer fee.

Bluegreen sends the paperwork to title company for closing. If you chose the title company then you can pick one that provides good service.

Some people recommend using Sterling Title (561) 237-5035. Sterling consistently provides strong performance based on a good understand how BG handles these transactions. (You only pay one $450 fee, and part of it goes to the title company.) They are very helpful.

Mark all of your Facebook and TUG for sale posts as 'sale pending' or ‘complete’, OR delete the post. You don't want to still be contacted.

NOTE: If anyone wants to improve on this document, please feel free to do so.

IMPORTANT LINK:

http://tug2.net/timeshare_advice/tug_timeshare_advice.shtml#Buying__Selling_Timeshares

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