Family Vacation Destinations
Our experience with timeshare ownership

What was the sales presentation like?

We'd chosen Wednesday morning to do the 90-minute tour/sales presentation, which was being hosted at the nearby Westgate Lakes resort. We arrived ahead of schedule at the main building where the reservations desk, administrative offices, gift shop and sales floors were all located. Since we had been informed ahead of time that a free, all-you-can-eat hot breakfast buffet was part of the presentation, we spent the extra time stuffing ourselves with an assortment of foods.

Once our appetites had been sated, we were guided through a tour of Westgate Lakes. It was a newer facility and many of the items in the suites had far more modern finishes, including granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, more plush furnishings, etc. The buildings were all multi-story towers (between 6 and 8 stories tall) with multiple units on each floor in a style similar to a large hotel. The suites, however, were a bit bigger than what I've seen at several different chain-style hotel suites.

Impressed by the tour, we went back to the main building, sat down and discussed our options before a salesman arrived at our table. To be honest, we hadn't considered buying anything on that trip. We were just there to get away from everything for awhile and enjoy being a recently-married couple on vacation, so purchasing real estate in Florida hadn't been on the agenda. As the salesman went through his spiel and showed us the benefits of becoming owners, we were still somewhat reluctant to purchase, but were warming to the idea.

When the salesman got to a certain point in the negotiations, he stepped away and brought his manager, a "closer," over to our table to try to seal the deal. They went through three different sets of estimation worksheets before they arrived at a price that we could agree upon. At that point, we signed on the dotted line and bought a week for a two-bedroom suite at another location in nearby Kissimmee. A key takeaway point from this is that when purchasing a timeshare, it's similar to buying a car from a dealership; you should be a good negotiator and not be scared away by the initial offering price.

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