Timeshare Resales USA® - Timeshare Dictionary

Providing you peace of mind by
navigating your timeshare sale from start to finish

We have put together the following Dictionary to help you understand
the various terms used in timeshare ownership.

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Features that add to the value of the property such as swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses, boating, full kitchens, laundry facilities, etc.  The more amenities a resort offers, the greater the increase in value and desirability of the property.

Check-In Date:

The assigned date. The interval week begins usually Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. The check-in day begins the seven-day interval week.   [Example: If the interval week begins on Friday, the week ends on the following Friday].  The interval owner (or renter) need not check in on the specific check-in day; however, late check-in does not extend the interval week beyond the scheduled checkout day.      

Check-In Time:

The assigned hour. An interval week begins usually 3:00 PM, 4:00 PM, or occasionally 5:00 PM local time. The interval owner need not check in at the precise time; however, late check in does not extend the interval week beyond the assigned check out time. Checkout time is normally 10:00 AM or 11:00 AM prevailing time on the seventh day following check-in. [Example: check-in on Saturday at 4:00 PM and checkout on the following Saturday at 10:00 AM].

Closing Costs:

The costs associated with the closing process usually including deed preparation or transfer of equity for right-to-use properties, recording costs, escrow fee, and administrative fees.

Deeded Property:

True property ownership with deed recorded in the county where the property exists. This type of property has the same rights of ownership accorded to it as other deeded real estate. The owner may sell, rent, bequeath, or give away the property. 


A special secured account used to hold funds from the buyer and the seller related to closing of purchase and/or sale of any property.


The process of trading a week at one resort for a week at another resort when trading a specific week at the home resort for another week at the same resort. The exchange system allows an interval owner to trade their week with other interval owners thereby allowing each owner to travel and vacation throughout the world.

Exchange Company:

A company or organization that accepts weeks on deposit from it's interval members to establish a pool of weeks from which other members may select the resort and vacation times of their choice.  When a member deposits their week with an exchange company, the company compares the week the depositor is asking for with weeks deposited by other members and provides a suitable match based on availability and value. Factors affecting the trading value are: the resorts' rating, the time division; i.e., low time versus prime time , the size of the unit desired, etc.

Fixed Unit:

Unlike a floating unit, an owner who owns a fixed unit at a resort will always vacation in the same physical unit each year he/she vacations at that resort. This type of ownership is particularly important if you have purchased, for example, an oceanfront property. A fixed unit property assures the owner that he/she will always have the exact unit they have purchased.

Fixed Week:

Referring to the interval calendar, the purchase of a fixed week property assures the owners that they will always have the same week each year; i.e., week 26.  Alternatively, an owner of a floating week may choose another week within their time division or may elect to upgrade or downgrade to another time division to meet their annual vacation schedule. Upgrading to a higher time division usually incurs an additional cost.

Floating Unit:

Unlike a fixed unit, interval owners of a floating unit at a resort may not vacation in the same physical unit each year they vacation at their home resort. Interval owners may request a specific unit and, if available for that particular week, the resort normally will honor the request.

Floating Week:

The purchaser of a floating week has the flexibility of scheduling their vacation interval with yearly variations in accordance with the resort's guidelines. Typically, resorts will accept requests for specific weeks by the owner as soon as the annual maintenance fees are paid. Therefore, the earlier the maintenance fees are paid, the better the chance that the owner can pick a specific week.


An assigned period. Based on the interval calendar where fifty-two weeks of the year are numbered sequentially: Week 01 through Week 52 or Week 53. A specific interval week is a seven-day period encompassing one of those fifty-two weeks.  

Interval Calendar:

An annual calendar depicting the fifty-two or fifty-three weeks of each calendar year showing starting days of Friday-to-Friday, Saturday-to-Saturday, and Sunday to Sunday, check in dates.


Some states and some foreign countries do not allow deeded ownership of timeshares. Alternatively, a lease ownership or Right-To-Use ownership grants the leaser the right to use the property for a specified period usually from 20 to 99 years. The resort developer or management company holds ownership of the physical property.

Lockout Unit:

Typically, a unit that has the capability of being divided to create two separate but complete sections. If an owner buys a lockout unit, he can divide the unit and either stay in one-half of the unit and rent the other half or rent both halves to different parties.

Maintenance Fee:

A fee paid annually to cover the costs of maintaining the grounds, units, and facilities of the resort and the management thereof. These fees vary from resort to resort and with the type and size of the unit purchased.

Maximum Occupancy:

The maximum number of persons a unit will accommodate; usually from 2 to 10 persons. Maximum occupancy is typically expressed in conjunction with "private occupancy" referring to the number of persons the unit will sleep privately and the number of bedrooms within the unit. For example: a two bedroom unit with a sleeping capacity of 4 persons and a maximum occupancy of 6 persons would typically have a double bed in each of the two bedrooms and a pullout sofa in the living area; thereby allowing four persons private sleeping arrangements and two persons less than private sleeping arrangements. Configurations of units vary from resort to resort.

Odd or Even Year Usage:

Use of the property is restricted to either odd years (Ex. 2001) or even years (Ex.2002). Obviously, the ownership of this type of interval is valued at one-half the value of a full ownership property since the use is restricted to one-half of the annual usage.


Programs offered to interval owners by resorts, which allow the owners choice and control over when and where they vacation, or for how long or short they stay. Points are a symbolic unit of measure having no intrinsic value separate and apart from interval ownership.

Resort Ratings:

A system of comparison of resort quality, amenities, and location. The two foremost rating systems are Resort Condominiums International (RCI), Interval International (II). RCI and II rate their affiliated resorts based upon predetermined criteria of exacting standards of quality and services provided by the resort as well as the availability of amenities at or near the resort. RCI uses the Gold Crown designation for their highest quality resorts and Resorts of International Distinction for second-level resorts. II designates their top resorts as 5-Star resorts.

Reserve Price:

Used primarily in auctions indicating the asking price requested by the seller. In the event the highest bid received does not meet or exceed the reserve price, the offer is conveyed to the seller for acceptance, decline, or negotiation.

Right To Use (RTU):

Some states and some foreign countries do not allow deeded ownership of timeshares. Alternatively, a lease ownership or Right-To-Use ownership grants the leaser the right to use the property for a specified period usually from 20 to 99 years. The resort developer or management company holds ownership of the physical property. However, during the right-to-use period, the owner may rent, transfer, or bequeath the remaining years of their right-to-use property.

Special Assessment:

A fee over and above the annual maintenance fee assessed by the resort to interval owners. This fee is, when assessed, intended to defray expenses related to major repairs and refurbishing of resort equipment, facilities, and units.

Time Division:

A system of establishing the value of a week typically based upon season. For example: a week 3 (Mid January) purchased at a New England beach resort would not hold the same value as a midsummer week at the same resort due to the fact that the season in January is not conducive to vacationing on the beach. Time divisions are expressed as high time or red time meaning prime time, white time or medium time meaning medium desirability, or blue time or low time meaning the least desirable time.
Some resorts such as Hawaiian resorts consider all weeks as prime time since their tropical climate permits pleasant vacations throughout the calendar year. Additionally, many resorts offer year-round activities, often referred to as four season resorts, in which the owner may participate in a variety of seasonal activities. Other factors that affect the interval week’s desirability would be holidays and special local events.

Trading Power:

The assessed value of an interval week when trading or exchanging for another week within the same resort or at a different resort.  In some situations, the owner of a red week at an RCI Gold Crown resort can trade that week for two or more weeks at a resort of leaser distinction or for weeks in a lower time division. Supply and demand rules prevail in this type of exchange and the owners can greatly enhance their trading power with high demand weeks and resorts.

Unit Size:

Normally expressed as hotel unit, studio unit, efficiency unit or by number of bedrooms.   Hotel units, studio units, and efficiency units typically are a single room with sleeping accommodations and perhaps a small built in kitchen and sleep from two to four persons. One, two, or three or more bedroom units are usually condominium style accommodations and feature a partial or full kitchen and other living areas.