When we joined Disney Vacation Club we bought our first contract direct from Disney. We got a smaller number of points than we knew we’d need so that we could take advantage of the direct member benefits. We then planned to buy more points through resale and take advantage of the cheaper prices. This has worked well for us, and if I started all over as a new member, I’d do exactly the same again. However, it has caused one problem for me — a lack of patience with all the waiting around in the resale process.
I was spoiled by getting my first points from Disney. The points were there for us pretty much immediately, and there was no waiting around and no uncertainty. It was lovely. Resale was a whole different ball game and one in which I found myself counting days, constantly checking emails, and even checking up on how long the resale process was taking for other people. I’d prepared myself for a lot of waiting at certain times, but other things (which I thought would be quick and straight forward) seemed to take a lot longer than I’d imagined. Had I been more prepared, I don’t think I would have found the waiting so arduous. So I thought it might be helpful for anyone starting down this road to know step by step how it worked for me and how long each stage took. This process applies to buying a resale contract at any of the DVC Resorts at Walt Disney World. The process may be slightly different for other DVC resorts, but most of the steps do still apply.
1. Waiting For The Right Contract
This is one part of buying resale that I didn’t really appreciate the length of time it would take for us. For some people, it’s over within a day as the right contract comes up immediately. I naively assumed that would happen to us, and we’d find the right contract pretty quickly. If we’d been open to bigger contracts or a number of resorts, we would have found something suitable much quicker. The problem was we wanted a small contract of between 50-100 points at Disney’s Beach Club Villas with the same use year as we currently had. These contracts not only don’t come up that often, but they also go very quickly when they do appear. I had signed myself up to all the alerts I possibly could and kept an eye on the contracts coming up every day. Even with all this, it took months for the right contract to come along. When it did come up, though, I knew I had to get in quickly to make an offer.
Our Wait Time: 4 months
2. Making an Offer
I made my offer by email. Personally, I’d recommended calling if you see something you know you really want, but I’m from the UK, so it was just much easier by email. Even with the very slight delay going backward and forward by email, our offer was put to the sellers within 30 minutes of us making it. They came back immediately with a counteroffer, which we accepted straight away.
Our Wait Time: 2 hours
3. Receiving And Signing The Contract
I wasn’t sure how this part of the process worked, especially being from the UK. If the contract was sent to us in the mail, this was going to add a lot of time to the process. Luckily, the contract was emailed over to us, and we signed it all online. There was no delay from being outside the US at all. As soon as we received the email, we signed the contract and had it back over immediately.
Our Wait Time: 2 days
4. Paying The Deposit
To buy resale, we had to put down a 10% deposit of the entire contract cost (excluding closing costs). This step went alongside receiving and signing the contracts. While everything was sent over at the same time, it felt slightly separate to the contracts, so I’ve added in another step. We paid by credit card as it was easier than check or wiring the money over from the UK. All we had to do was print the form, complete it, and then scan and email it back.
Our Wait Time: 15 minutes
5. Right of First Refusal
The day after we signed the contract, it was sent over to Disney for what’s known as Right of First Refusal (or as it’s often abbreviated to ROFR). At this point, Disney decides whether they want to buy the contact themselves, or whether they’re happy to waive this right, in which case your sale can go through as planned. This can be a notoriously long wait, and I was well-prepared thanks to a really handy thread on the DISboards.com. It has all the latest information on Right of First Refusal: how long contracts are taking to go through, at what price contracts are being waived by Disney (otherwise known as passing), and at what price contracts are being bought back by Disney (otherwise known as being taken). This process can take anywhere from two weeks up to about five weeks in a worst-case scenario. Our contract luckily passed Right of First Refusal on day 19. With the initial one day wait for it to be sent to Disney after we signed the contracts, it added 20 days onto our resale process, which doesn’t feel too bad.
Our Wait Time: 20 days
6. Signing Open Escrow Letter
This was part of buying resale that I’d never heard of before. It was sent to us by email during our wait for Right of First Refusal, so it didn’t add any extra time onto the process, but I thought it deserved a separate step here. It’s a document used to verify the information given on your contract. You have to print the Open Escrow Letter, check your details and either update them if anything’s incorrect or sign to say you’re happy with them. You then scan this and email it back. It was very straight forward, but just something I wasn’t expecting and wasn’t quite sure what it was for. As long as you send this back before you hear about Right of First Refusal, it won’t hold anything up.
Our Wait Time: None
7. Receiving Closing Documents
I thought the only long wait whilst buying resale would be waiting for Disney on Right of First Refusal. After this was done, I assumed everything would go through rather quickly. I was wrong! When Disney waives the Right of First Refusal they have to complete something called Estoppel. I had never heard of this before, but it’s basically Disney confirming that everything about the contract is correct. They check that all the annual dues have been paid, that there are no current bookings made with the points, and if there’s any finance on the contract being sold how much is owed on it. Once they’ve done this, they can let the Title Company know, and the closing documents can be sent out.
The length of time can vary massively depending on how quickly Disney is completing Estopple at any time, and also how long the Title Company you’re using take to finalize the closing documents. Some can be much quicker than others. There’s another handy thread on DISboards.com, which shows how long people are waiting on average for all parts of the closing process.
Our Wait Time: 13 days
8. Returning Closing Documents
When we finally received the closing documents, it was again a really easy process. We were sent five documents, four of which we had to print and sign, then scan and email back to the Title Company (these were the Buyer’s Closing Statement, New Owner Set-Up Form, Compliance Agreement, and Occupancy and Use Disclosure). The fifth document (Warranty Deed) was just for reference, as it only needed to be signed by the sellers. I was worried we’d need to get the documents witnessed when we signed them, which could take a while. I was also worried they’d have to be sent in the mail to us, which would add on a lot of time. Luckily, neither of these was the case, so once we actually had the documents, it was very quick to sign them and send them back the same day.
Our Wait Time: 1 hour
9. Paying Closing Funds
The remaining balance for the contract, in addition to the closing costs, was requested by the Title Company the day after the closing documents were sent. This was another part of the process I was worried about. I knew we wouldn’t be able to pay by card this time, and being in the UK sending the money over was going to be more difficult. We couldn’t just send a check, and using our bank would have cost us heavily in charges. Luckily we found some online international money transfer companies and used one of these to wire the money over for us. We booked the transaction the day we received the payment instructions, and the money was wired the next day. The Title Company received it the same day it was sent, which was a massive relief!
Our Wait Time: 2 days
This is when the sale is complete. To close, the Title Company needs to have the signed documents from both the seller and the buyer, and have received the cleared funds for the sale. This can lead to a wait if your seller is slow in getting their documents back. Luckily ours were very quick, so we didn’t wait long after our funds were received to close. At this point, you own the points, but sadly the wait to use them still isn’t over.
Our Wait Time: 2 days
11. Deed Recorded by Orange County
For DVC resorts within Walt Disney World, once the Title Company has closed the sale, they send the deed over to Orange County to be recorded (this is the county the DVC property is located in). You can check on the Orange County Comptroller Website (using your name to search) to see when this has happened. For us, it was the day after we closed. At this point, Orange County forwards the recorded deed onto Disney, who can then set up your contract.
Our Wait Time: 1 day
12. Disney Set Up Your Contract
This part will be slightly different depending on whether your contract will be going onto an existing membership number, or whether a new membership is being set up. We were having our contract added to our existing membership, which meant we had to keep checking the DVC member site to see when the contract appeared. Had we been new members, we would have been contacted by Disney with a new membership number and a one-time access code to set up an online account.
Our Wait Time: 13 days
13. Your Points Are Ready to Use
For some reason, Disney sets up your contract and then apply the points to it a few days later. I’m not sure why they do this exactly. Possibly, as one final torturous wait before you can use your new contract. It certainly makes you appreciate the points when you finally get them!
Our Wait Time: 5 days
The Time Taken From Offering to Having Our Points
This is the time that most people are focusing on when they’re purchasing a DVC resale contract. How long will it take from that moment you first put the offer in up to the day you can actually use your points? I don’t think our wait was too bad here. Not as quick as some people, but as we were told, it takes an average of 90 days. Overall, I was quite pleased.
Total Wait Time: 57 days
The Time Taken For The Whole Process
If we include the entire process from the day we decided on the contract we wanted, to the day we had our points ready to use, this is a lot longer. We were fussy with the contract we wanted, though, and weren’t willing to be flexible on it, so we waited a long time to find the right one.
Total Wait Time: 6 months
You might ask whether it was worth the wait when we could have had the points from Disney within a month or so (there’s a waitlist for Beach Club points directly from Disney). I think for the saving we made (close to $8,000) it definitely was worth it. You just have to go into resale realizing you’ll need to have some patience along the way.
If you’ve ever purchased a DVC resale contract, what was your experience? Was it similar to mine? Do you think the wait is worth the money you can save? Let me know in the comments below!