Don't Fall Prey to a Timeshares Resale Scam
Be aware of upfront fees and "money back guarantees". There are countless Better Business Bureau complaint filings of fraudulent timeshare exit companies taking consumers money and not actually selling their timeshare. These companies can collect thousands of dollars from consumers in taxes, resort maintenance fees, legal fees, title transfer fees, third-party advertising and promotion fees and closing costs.
If a timeshare reseller is bragging about their sales, ask how much of it is from rentals versus actual timeshare sales. Resellers usually combine their timeshare sales and rental sales together. Be very cautious of unsolicited calls spoofing their phone number and providing a fraudulent address.
If you decide to use your own timeshare exit company, research the company first to make sure they are reputable and licensed. Make sure the company's license is active as well
Fidelity Real Estate - Timeshare Division
Timeshare Broker Associates
Read more here: BBB: Company never sells timeshares, charges fees in scam
There Are No Guarantees With Timeshare Resales
The sale of your timeshare is completely based on the economic principles of supply and demand. Selling your timeshare will depend on the market and the competition of your product. Remember, timeshares are not meant to be a financial investment. Timeshares were designed to be an investment and commitment to future vacations with your family.
Check Out the Competition - Comparable Products
If a resale company is promising you results, see how likely they are to deliver by checking out the other units available in your resort or at the destination. Research timeshare sales sites to see how many units are already for sale in your area. How much are they asking for and how long have they been on the market? Be sure to compare a product that is comparable to yours, same resort, unit size, time of year, and exchange parameters. These factors combined with the age of the product, resort amenities, product type, exchange options, location and time of year are some aspects that may determine price.
Is Your Loan Paid Off
Prior to selling your timeshare, your timeshare loan must be paid. If you will receive less money than what you owe, you should consider keeping your timeshare and using it for your vacation or renting it to cover your costs instead of selling or cancelling.
Understand All the Fees Involved - Legal, Advertising, Real Estate Closing & Commissions
You will need to pay legal fees in addition to real estate commissions and closing costs when you sell your timeshare, all of which can be substantial. If you list with a third party, you will also have to pay advertising and promotion fees. In addition there are taxes, resort maintenance fees, legal fees and title transfer fees. Research all the fees involved before listing your unit.
Renting Can Offset Costs
Instead of selling or cancelling, rent your timeshare to recoup the cost. Contact your Homeowners Association (HOA) at your timeshare resort to find out the options available. Many owners rent through their HOA, developer or online sites such as Airbnb and VRBO.
Walking Away From Your Timeshare Has Many Repercussions
If you walk away from your timeshare, you will likely face foreclosure and lifelong credit issues associated with bankruptcy. In addition, there are associated legal fees with foreclosures. There may also be costly law suits as well as harassment by collection agencies.
Consider Your Future Vacation Costs Post-Timeshare
What is your vacation plan after selling or cancelling your timeshare? You may find that after you research the costs, it is close to what you are already paying. If you include the costs associated with selling your timeshare and you add the cost of your future vacations, you may end up paying more than what you were paying for your timeshare vacations. Also, consider what your plan is to ensure that you take the vacation in the future. If you sell your timeshare and are not financially committed to taking a vacation, will you?
Know the Players
ARDA's Consumer Advisory 1
describes the resale players:
Historically, some timeshare resale advertisers have taken a lot of criticism for charging high up-front fees, and doing little or nothing for the timeshare owner who listed his or her timeshare for sale or rent. However, the first step to selling anything is letting people know it's for sale - so whatever you do you'll need to advertise. Just remember it is not prudent to give financial authorization until you've thoroughly investigated the company and comparison shopped. There are many places to advertise your timeshare yourself for little or no cost on the Internet or in print. Read more from ARDA!
Licensed Real Estate Companies
Timeshare resellers holding real estate licenses are usually - companies. This means that they can not only advertise your timeshare for sale or rent, but also assist buyers, help negotiate prices, write up contracts and assist with the closing of any sale or rental. Some licensed companies may charge an up-front fee (if permitted by state law) or they may only — charge a commission (10% to 30%) when a sale occurs, based on the price for the timeshare interest sold. You can check on the licensing status of individuals in 42 jurisdictions at www.arello.com
. Read more from ARDA!
Other Timeshare Resellers - A Word of Caution
There are other companies who may offer to buy your timeshare interest (i.e. 'week'), take it for a fee that you pay, help you give it to charity, put your timeshare in a travel club or some other "creative" solution. Be careful. While some of these offers may be legitimate, be sure to check them out thoroughly before paying anything. Unfortunately not all companies are reputable, so please make sure you understand who you are dealing with, what their contract says, what others who have used the services think and most importantly if it sounds too good to be true - it probably is. Some of these companies are asking for hundreds to thousands of dollars from timeshare owners. One company may have come up with a good idea which they execute well — while others may simply copy the original idea as a way to make money. Read more from ARDA!