It recently occurred to us that although we have a comprehensive guide to buying Disney Vacation Club, we have nothing about selling one’s membership. Perhaps because it’s not quite as “happy” of a topic, but in reality, it’s something that does occur. In this post, we’ll offer some tips for selling your DVC contract, choosing the right broker, and how to get the most out of your sale.
For starters, I think the very fact that there’s such a robust resale market speaks volumes about Disney Vacation Club, and is actually a compelling reason to purchase in the first place. Our Saratoga Springs DVC contract is actually worth more now (based on average sale prices) than when we purchased it a decade ago. That may be unremarkable in a traditional real estate transaction, but DVC contracts have a shelf life, and ours expires in 2054.
When you compare that to other timeshares, it’s doubly remarkable. All you have to do is search eBay for “timeshare” and you’ll find a sea of contracts available for $1, as owners are desperate to unload a worthless asset that cost them tens of thousands of dollars. Those $1 prices are to avoid throwing good money after bad in the form of annual maintenance fees, which turn a worthless asset into a money pit. As compared to that bleak scenario, selling Disney Vacation Club for–in many cases–a modest profit, is not too shabby…
Long-term value was really important to us when we purchased. We were still in college when we bought our DVC contract, and didn’t have long-term financial stability. While buying into DVC definitely made sense for us at the time, we also wanted to have a valuable asset that we could sell should the need arise. Basically, the same reason you comparison shop the resale markets for any big-ticket item before making the initial purchase.
When it comes to timeshare resales, Disney has no equals. Just look at this list of the top 25 best-selling timeshares on the resale market, which is dominated by DVC. Aside from a couple of luxury products by Marriott and Westin, DVC is by far the strongest. Disney Vacation Club resorts occupy the top 6 rankings, 8 of the top 10, and 11 of the top 25.
Once you’ve decided to sell your Disney Vacation Club contract, the first thing you need to determine is where to sell it. Disney has no resale department and will not repurchase your membership from you (at least, not initially), so you have to look to third parties.
My first recommendation in this regard is using a licensed and insured real estate broker. As mentioned above, you’ll see timeshare contracts on eBay (and Craigslist), but those are about the last places I’d ever consider buying or selling. There are just too many liabilities (not to mention fees on eBay) that pose risks for both buyers and sellers.
Beyond that, I would steer clear of general purpose real estate brokers and timeshare sellers. Unfortunately, timeshare scammers are prevalent, with many shady and fly-by-night operations. In addition to ones that outright rip people off, there are others that are marginally reputable, but are still seedy. Ones that don’t have BBB accreditation, have no physical office in the United States, or anyone that charges upfront fees (this is illegal in Florida).
Fortunately, there is an incredibly robust market for DVC resales. There are several brokers that specialize in buying and selling Disney Vacation Club, and we recommend choosing one of these brokers. The reasons for this are pretty straightforward: why choose a generalist when you can have a specialist who knows the product inside and out, and only deals with it?
Regardless of the broker you choose, you want to make sure you ‘click’ with your agent. This is similar to when you purchase DVC–you want to make sure the agent isn’t going to be too pushy or eager to ‘force’ a below-market sale.
The vast majority of agents are good in this regard, and realize they have a product that pretty much sells itself, so this will usually come down to ensuring the agent is affable, knowledgeable, and has a quick response time. (Just remember, if they’re slow to respond to you, the same is likely true for potential buyers.)
Other important considerations are the broker’s site having a strong presence on Google and social media. I’d highly recommend going onto Google and searching various keywords that buyers are likely to use (“DVC resale” and “Disney Vacation Club resale” being the big ones) and seeing which agencies rank the highest–discarding the ads. Same goes for Facebook.
This is significant because it’s how the vast majority of potential buyers are going to find a place to purchase DVC. Obviously, you want the businesses that are getting the most traffic in terms of potential buyers. You don’t want to list with a broker languishing on page 2 of Google search results that sees a fraction of the traffic as the top results on page 1.
There are other things you could look for, such as whether the seller’s site is responsive (mobile-friendly) or looks like it has been updated since 1998. Not so much because people are buying timeshares from their iPhones, but because a broker’s laziness to update their site could reflect laziness in other aspects of the business.
By and large, the niche DVC resellers are a good, reliable group. There are a few that were started by Disney fans or former Cast Members, and are family-run. These are people who got into the business because they are truly passionate about Disney Vacation Club. Between personal experience and feedback from friends and readers who have used them, the overall feedback for DVC resellers is 99% positive.
This is a stark contrast to the timeshare market as a whole, which is so riddled with scams that the FTC is actively investigating it (there’s even a warning on the FTC site). This is why we so strongly recommend a DVC-specialist when choosing a reseller. We really cannot emphasize this enough. The niche DVC brokers tend to be very good, and there’s too much garbage in the general realm of timeshares, so why even risk it?
Frankly, Google page ranking and social media presence matter a bit less at this exact moment than was the case a few years ago (and perhaps a few years from now). Right now (October 2017), we are in the midst of a very strong sellers’ market, with most DVC contracts selling in under 30 days.
Due to the strength of the market at the moment, I’d be inclined to price my listing at an above market price and prepare to have a slight amount of patience. This is entirely a personal thing, but I’d rather wait 45-60 days in exchange for a potentially higher sales price. Obviously, some people don’t have the luxury of time, or just won’t want the risk or uncertainty.
In terms of basics, I think that’s about all you need to know before selling your Disney Vacation Club contract. That should be enough to help you determine whether you should sell and helping you in choosing the right broker for you. From there, the DVC resale broker should be able to ‘pick up the ball’ and answer any remaining questions you might have. There are definitely things we don’t cover here (such as the ROFR process, closing, fees, etc.), but those are all things that can vary, and a broker can help you with all of that. If our experience with buying is any indication, the DVC resale process is completely painless and easy. Selling your DVC membership might not be the most “magical” thing, but at least it’s simple and not difficult!
If you’re thinking about joining DVC, be sure to read our Ultimate Guide to Disney Vacation Club. This covers the pros & cons, resale v. direct, how much money you’ll save, and other important things to know before taking the plunge. If you still can’t decide whether membership is right for you, “try before you buy” with the recommendations in How to Save BIG on Deluxe Disney Accommodations Renting DVC Points.
What are your thoughts about selling Disney Vacation Club? If you’re a member, did you purchase via resale? Any particular broker or agent that you used and recommend (or don’t)? Any questions about selling DVC? Hearing your feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!