How we sold our Maltese timeshare.

My wife and I bought into a timeshare resort on Malta in the 90s after many visits to the island with our three children. The island is very family oriented and the children enjoyed the freedom of a more relaxed pace of life, so it seemed like the perfect antidote to the annual holiday discussion and inevitable arguments that followed. Knowing when and where we were going each year also helped no end with organising time off from running my business - and booking plane tickets well in advance gave us savings too.

There did come a point, however, when we needed to sell our timeshare. Now, I'm not one for leaving things to chance, so you'd think that I would have covered all the angles when we first bought it, but surprisingly, the thought hadn't really occurred to me. I suppose I was just so relieved to have the holiday pressure taken off me in the short term that I hadn't considered what our long term plans were. We'd briefly talked about letting family use it, or coming back without the kids, but no real thought had gone into the discussion.

So it was with some consternation that I realised that things weren't as simple as I'd imagined. No-one could give me a satisfactory answer as to how to sell a timeshare effectively and I wasn't going to end up giving away what had been quite a substantial outlay for us. But perseverance paid off and through quite a bit of time spent researching my options, I found that there are reputable companies who specialise in taking the pressure off people such as me.

A little more research led me to the conclusion that although a number of companies maintain that their method of selling a timeshare is the best, there are good and bad companies. I found a good one by applying certain criteria. Firstly, the fee structure had to be transparent; I don't want to be presented with a bill for a ridiculous amount of money. Secondly, I wanted to be kept informed about the process and have the knowledge that everything was strictly above board. Lastly, I needed to have the reassurance that comes from dealing with a company that was a member of the Direct Marketing Association and adhered to its code of practice.

Once I had done all the relevant checks to my satisfaction, the sale itself was handled with little effort and no drama. Which is exactly what drew me to the world of timeshare in the first instance.