What’s worse, the Howertons’ timeshares most likely have no value, said Weir.
“Fifty percent of all timeshares are located in Florida,” he said. “So if you ever want a glutted market, Orlando is it.”
A two-bedroom, two-bath floating-week timeshare at the Sheraton Vistana Villages recently was listed on RedWeek’s resale platform for just $495 — with a $1,135.20 annual maintenance fee.
Vistana was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 1999. Now called Starwood Vacation Ownership, its portfolio is made up primarily of Sheraton- and Westin-branded vacation ownership resorts.
David Calvert, director of brand, communications and creative resources for Starwood, told CNBC the resort “will work with the Howertons to resolve their unique circumstances.”
“While Vistana continues to experience high loyalty and resort satisfaction rates, in the event an owner inquires about returning their vacation ownership interest, we work with them on a case-by-case basis,” he said.
Experts say inherited timeshares can have unique issues.
“Most people don’t realize they’ve inherited a timeshare,” said Brandon Reed, founder and CEO of the Timeshare Exit Team in Lynnwood, Washington, which helps people offload their timeshares. (Demand for the company’s services, which cost around $4,000, has doubled over the past two years, Reed said.)
“We had a lady in here not too long ago that inherited eight timeshares from her brother who passed away, but she had no idea,” he said. “And they all had about a $1,000 maintenance fee attached.”