When you shop for real estate, fractional or sole-ownership, knowing how to negotiate will ensure you don’t suffer from buyer’s remorse.
Once you decide on a fractional condominium, destination club, luxury resort or timeshare, do your homework before discussing the purchase with the owner or developer.
Fractional Property Research
Before you make a decision on buying a fractional, do some research. Determine how long the club, resort, or destination club has been in business. Make some price comparisons of equivalent properties in similar areas.
If it is a new property, review the costs of similar comparables, and see if the new property offers similar services, amenities, and size.
Most real estate professionals will tell you that when you purchase a new fractional, especially a new fractional resort, the purchase price is considered non-negotiable. The reason behind this is to keep amity among all fractional owners. Fractional developers do not want one or more getting a “deal” while the other owners pay full price.
The management companies want owners to get to know each other and discuss the various aspects of ownership in the development.
New resorts may operate on a fixed price only basis and discourage negotiations.
Nevertheless, there is no harm in attempting to get a better price. Sometimes the financial condition of the developer may encourage him to provide you with a discount. If the fractional offering has been on the market for an extended period that might incentivize the developer to sell it at a slightly better price.
Fractional resales provide discount opportunities. The sellers are much less rigid with pricing. A good rule of thumb to follow is offering 30% less than the asking price on a resale.
Try to contact the current owners if possible and find out all you can about their experiences. Look online or ask the current owners the original price of the fractional.
An all-cash offer might get you a discount also (even on a new fractional).
Price Is Not Everything
Salesmen may not have the authority to lower the overall price, but they may be able to negotiate other things such as certain amenities, availability days or weeks, and more.
For example, if the ownership consortium rents out the property when not in use, ask for a larger share of the rent than stipulated in the pre-offered contract.
Or, see if you can purchase a two- or three-bedroom for a one-bedroom price.
Think about the tactics you want to use when negotiating for your fractional. If there is no way to lower the asking price, you may be able to negotiate other cost-savings or amenities.
Consider including a few contingencies in the offer such obtaining a preferred location within the resort, no fees for the first year of ownership, or obtaining certain holidays or other days of the year when you want to use the fractional.
Mentioning price comparables with rival fractional offerings could persuade the owners to match or discount the price.
Read the Small Print
Even if you are a seasoned owner, it behooves you to carefully read the contract. Find out who is managing the property. Consider having someone who specializes in fractional ownership read the contract and advise you on the terms.
You may find things in the fine print that you can negotiate which will either save you money or provide you with an amenity not otherwise included.
Don’t Forget to Hire a Good Agent
A good real estate agent can help you with your negotiations. A good agent might cost a bit more but can help you get a better deal than you could negotiate yourself.
An agent that knows the market and fractional buying rules and regulations can assist you in dealing with the process. They will know the market and know what may or may not be possible when negotiating. This will give you more leverage with the sellers and can advise you what you can push for with a resort, developer, or club.
Remember, the negotiation techniques you use for negotiating apply equally to equity funds like Equity Residences, Equity Estates, and other equity vacation ownership options.
Knowledge of the market, pricing, comparables, how fractionals work, and a willingness to compromise will ultimately lead to a good deal.