There was a time when it seemed like everyone owned a timeshare. It was a huge business and the appeal to people seemed irresistible. Seminars lure people in with the promise of gifts for attending and the hard press sales people paint a picture of traveling the world and having your very own vacation home in numerous countries.
Let’s face it, most of us can’t afford to buy our own vacation home so instead of selling a condo unit to one person these companies sell one unit to as many as 52 people for a smaller amount. Many people are happy with their timeshares and use them regularly however many are not. The industry has been dogged by a reputation for unscrupulous sales practices and unforeseen challenges and fees. They don’t always tell you there is an annual maintenance fee and owners are usually only allowed one week a year and of course they don’t explain how difficult it can be to get time at the company’s other resorts then the one they bought into. They also don’t explain how difficult it can be to sell your ownership and the companies are often unwilling to buy the units back.
A lot of people end up wanting to sell their ownership in their timeshare but this can be difficult to do and now there is scams taking advantage of people desperately wanting to get out from under their timeshare.
This is how it works, a company will contact you and tell you they represent a company that helps people sell their timeshares and they have a buyer lined up that would like to purchase your unit. They tell the seller all they have to do is pay an upfront fee to cover certain costs. They exchange legitimate looking legal forms, get the seller to pay the upfront fees and then disappear.
Tips for Selling a Timeshare
Talk to the Resort First.
Many companies have a formal resale program.
Know the Market
Timeshare groups such as tug2.net, have lots information for timeshare owners. Timeshareinsights.com offers practical advice for owners and is run by the author of Timeshare Vacations for Dummies.
Don’t Expect Too Much
They are not always easy to sell and have little resale value. Don’t expect to get your money back. Hopefully you have used it and gotten your money out of it that way.
If someone cold calls you saying they have a buyer but you will need to pay a fee upfront hang up on them. Chances are they are trying to scam you.
Educate yourself on the latest scams and know your legal rights and sales choices. Read your ownership papers and make sure you are current on your fees.
Beware of Rental Scams
One of the latest scams is someone calling you and saying they have someone who would like to rent your week from you for big money. They then ask for an upfront finder’s fee. Anything that involves you to pay an upfront fee is probably a scam.