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12 June 2024

How to buy a timeshare

Anyone interested in buying a timeshare should first learn all about how they work, and how Notary Public might be able to help them. Read on to find out more.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Buy a timeshare.

Timeshares can be a convenient way to ensure that you have a regular place to holiday at on a yearly basis. You can even exchange timeshares if you decide you want to go somewhere new. If you are looking to buy a timeshare, then there are some things that you should know.

The key thing to remember is that you are not the only one who owns the timeshare; other people will also have access to it at different times of the year. They are usually in popular holiday locations, so many people will be wanting access to a timeshare.

Read on to learn more about how timeshares work, what you need to know before you buy a timeshare, and the ways a Notary Public such as us, can assist you.

How do timeshares work?

Timeshares can work in several different ways, with there being different benefits to each type. Some timeshares offer flexibility in when you can stay there, while some are more fixed. Some types of timeshares are:

  • Deeded fixed-week timeshares (where you have the same week each year)
  • Floating timeshares (where your time changes from year to year)
  • Right-to-use timeshares (these are leased rather than part-owned, but you can still sell them)

Ultimately, the most important differences are between leasehold and deeded freehold timeshares. Right-to-use timeshares, for example, are leasehold, meaning that you will have a contract that lasts a number of years. After this, you will no longer have the right to use the property unless you extend your contract.

However, with other types of timeshares that are freehold and deeded, you have partial ownership over the property. Therefore, you can essentially keep going back to the timeshare for as long as you want to keep it for.  It is similar to home ownership; you can even rent out your timeshare, or even sell it if you no longer want it.

Both freehold and leasehold function the same regarding how long they let you stay in them for, which is usually a week once a year. 

Benefits of buying a timeshare

There are some useful benefits to buying a timeshare that you should know about, though we will also follow with some drawbacks in the next section. 

  1. First, you do not have to worry about planning your holiday as much as you normally would. Since you already have somewhere to stay, you do not have to look at booking a hotel or other accommodation. Also, over time, you will get more used to the area you stay in. A timeshare essentially gives you a reliable base from which to explore the area that it is located in.
  2. A timeshare can be more financially viable than outright buying a holiday home or booking a different place to stay every year. However, weighing up whether a timeshare or holiday home is a better option is not something a lot of people will be thinking about. 
  3. Linked to the previous point, you can go second hand to save a bit of money. Some people will eventually want to sell their timeshare. At times, these timeshares can be cheaper than buying an empty slot. 
  4. When you look into buying a timeshare, you will find that you have a large amount of options from a range of companies, at various different locations. Whether you want to go to a sunny Caribbean country, visit Disneyland, or even just have a staycation elsewhere in the UK, then you can choose whatever you want.
  5. If you ever get tired of the timeshare you have chosen, then you may even be able to trade it for another one. This allows you to more easily go on holiday to different places around the world.

Drawbacks of buying a timeshare

  1. Lack of flexibility in your holiday is one of the main drawbacks. Whilst you will always have a guaranteed place to holiday at, it would be a waste of money if you suddenly decided you did not want to go there. If you do not have a timeshare, then you can just plan to go wherever you want, though you will have the extra stress of planning. 
  2. Whilst they are more cost-effective than some of your other options, it can still be costly to buy a timeshare. If you do not think you are in the right financial position to be buying one, then we advise against it.
  3. In some cases, you may find it difficult to choose your timeshare to be at a time of year that is suitable for you. Depending on the popularity of the timeshare, you will have a lot of competition. For example, if you want a week somewhere sunny and tourist friendly like Florida. You may end up having to have your timeshare be at a less sunny time of year if you cannot get one for the summer.
  4. Due to the amount of money involved with buying a timeshare, there are also a lot of people out there trying to scam those interested in them. Whilst you can try and check that the individual or company that you are buying a timeshare from is legitimate, the safest option overall is to just not get a timeshare at all if you are worried about losing such a substantial amount of money. However, we recommend just doing your due diligence and making sure that you are buying a timeshare from someone legitimate.

Selling timeshares

If you no longer want your timeshare, you will be able to sell it if you have partial ownership of it. However, you will likely be selling it at a much lower price than what you initially bought it for, unless you bought it second hand. 

There are some websites online that you can use to sell your timeshare through, so you do not have to do everything by yourself. 

It is best to greatly think through your purchase of a timeshare before you buy one, so you do not end up regretting it and wanting to sell it not long after. 

Why you need a Notary Public

There are many documents involved in both the processes of buying and selling a timeshare. If you are dealing with a timeshare abroad, then you will likely need the services of a Notary Public.

For your documents to be accepted as valid and legal abroad, they will need to be both notarised, and then be legalised. To legalise a document, it will either need to go through the process of being given an apostille by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), or go through embassy legalisation. The process depends on the country, which the notary will be able to help you figure out.

Some examples of the documents that we have notarised for timeshares include:

  • Purchase of Timeshare documents
  • Sale of Timeshare documents
  • Warranty Deeds
  • Seller’s Affidavit

Other documents may also be part of the buying and selling processes. A notary such as us can help you with those too.

How we can help

Our team, alongside our Notary Public of England and Wales, Nathan Woodcock, can assist you with all the previously mentioned notarisation and legalisation services.

To meet Nathan, you can book an appointment to take place at one of our offices in London, Manchester, or Sheffield. Alternatively, you can arrange for your appointment to be at a suitable time and place of your own choosing by using our mobile notary service. 

When it comes to embassy legalisation, the process differs slightly based on the country you are going to. We will manage it all for you.

We will also manage the whole apostille process for you, which is much more straightforward. You can choose either our standard service or fast-track service to get an apostille from the FCDO.

Get in touch with us today for our expert assistance with your timeshare documents.


If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services,
contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0800 049 2471 (free to call) or email

If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services, contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0800 049 2471 (free to call) or email