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Marriott's Right of First Refusal ("ROFR")

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Dave M

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ROFR Policy
Most Marriott timeshares include a clause in the legal documents affecting the timeshare giving Marriott the right to purchase a Marriott timeshare that an owner proposes to sell to a third party. If Marriott exercises its right, it must do so under the same terms as those the owner and potential buyer have agreed upon.

The owner must notify Marriott in writing of the agreed upon terms and give Marriott the option to buy the week at those same terms instead of allowing the proposed purchaser to buy it. Technically, the owner is asking Marriott to waive its Right of First Refusal ("ROFR").

Marriott has a limited time to respond to the notification. Typically, Marriott must respond within 15 days (e.g., for Grand Chateau) to 30 days (e.g., for Grande Ocean and Custom House). Marriott normally responds within 10 or fewer days, often within three or four days.

Although Marriott usually responds quickly to a request for a waiver, the various ROFR legal provisions typically state that if Marriott fails to exercise its ROFR option within the required number of days, the owner is free to sell at the price indicated in the notification.

ROFR Waiver Fee - Effective January 1, 2007
If Marriott grants the waiver, thus allowing the owner to sell as proposed, the purchaser will be charged a fee of $95. The fee should be collected and paid to Marriott through the closing process. It's likely that Marriott will insist on collecting the fee before the new owner is recognized by Marriott.

Exceptions
Based on a post by Perry on the old BBS in early 2005 and adjusted for info provided by Dean and others, the following resorts do not have ROFR provisions:
  • Marriott's Frenchman's Cove • MFC
  • Marriott's Desert Springs Villas • MDS * (See note.)
  • Marriott's Fairways Villas • MFV
  • Marriott's Harbour Club at Harbour Town • MHH
  • Marriott's Harbour Point at Shelter Cove • HPS
  • Marriott's Heritage Club at Harbour Town • MHG
  • Marriott's Monarch at Sea Pines • MMS
  • Marriott's Royal Palms • MRP
  • Marriott's Sabal Palms • MSP
  • Marriott's Streamside (Birch, Cedar, Douglas) • MVB, MCD, MDO
  • Marriott's Sunset Pointe • MSN
* However, Desert Springs Villas II does have an ROFR policy.

Actions to Take
A seller should comply with the resort's ROFR policy to ensure the sale is valid. Either the seller or the closing company can request the waiver. A buyer should instruct the closing company not to close the sale until the required ROFR waiver is obtained from Marriott.

The risk in not obtaining the waiver is that Marriott might refuse to recognize the new owner, which it likely could do if the required waiver procedure isn't followed.

A simple call to Marriott Owner Services will get the seller started in the right direction for obtaining the ROFR waiver. If you utilize the example that follows, be sure to check with Owner Services to ensure that the e-mail address is still current. Here is a sample e-mail message (modified from a post on this forum by "ironweed"):

From: XXXXXXXXXXXXX
To: mvcirofr@vacationclub.com

Subject: Selling Grande Vista Unit 6XXX week 2X
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 14:31:13
Marriott Vacation Club International,

I am selling my Grande Vista week 2X unit #6XXX. The pertinent information is listed below:

Seller: XXXXX
Buyer: ZZZZZZZZZ
Purchase Price: $7,000.00 + closing costs

I am attaching a copy of the purchase-sale agreement between the two parties.

Please reply to this email letting us know that we have the approval to proceed with this transaction. It is my understanding that your return email will be the written documentation that is required to proceed with our closing.

Proof of Tentative Sale
Marriott has recently been requesting proof of the proposed purchase-sale terms. The draft e-mail message above assumes that you will attach a copy of a sales agreement. Alternatively, you can forward a confirming e-mail between the buyer and seller or separately fax your ROFR request and a copy of the agreement to Marriott at 407-903-5995.

How Often Does Marriott Exercise its ROFR?
Apparently not very often until early 2007. More often since then. There have been quite a few reports here within the past year or so of Marriott exercising its option to purchase. The nember is still low when considering that there have probably been at least a few hundred Marriott resale purchases and sales by TUGgers during that same period.

It appears that Marriott exercises its option mostly on high-demand weeks that it needs in order to fulfill its own needs for resale inventory. Thus, a Platinum week to be purchased/sold at a low price is much more likely to be affected by the ROFR than a Silver week at the same resort.

Examples of Marriott's ROFR Exercise Prices
A TUGger has developed this website for compiling a listing of exercises and waivers by Marriott of its ROFR. Although a useful tool, note that the price points are anecdotal.

Advice in Negotiating a Purchase Price
Since Marriott is known to change (sometimes dramatically) the price at which it will exercise ROFR, relying on past ROFR experiences in negotiating your own purchase price could be very costly. Thus, the most common advice at TUG is to make your best deal and hope Marriott waives ROFR. If it doesn't, try again....
 
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