Desperate to get rid of their vacation property, some timeshare owners are being contacted by deceptive timeshare resellers. Though some offers are legitimate, consumers have had problems with some businesses offering to sell their previously-purchased timeshares. In a few cases, consumers also have issues purchasing a timeshare from these companies.
- Consumer feels pressured to sign up or make a purchase immediately.
- Reseller charges an advance fee for an "appraisal" or "closing costs" and says the timeshare will then be taken off the sellers hands.
- Timeshare owner is contacted, out of the blue, and told they have a buyer for their property.
Problems Reported: The consumer who owns a vacation property or timeshare is contacted by a company offering to sell the timeshare for them. The company may claim to already have an eager buyer. After paying large fees, the seller has a hard time contacting the company or never hears from the company again. After assuming the timeshare is sold, the consumer later discovers that the vacation property dues are still being billed to them.
- Be wary of upfront fees. Consider opting for a company that sells the timeshare, but only collects the fee after the timeshare has been sold.
- Get business contact information. If basic information like the full business name and an address won't be provided, BBB does not suggest using the business.
- Research businesses. Visit
to get a BBB Business Review.
Check for business licensing. See if any real estate licenses are required in the state where the timeshare is located.
Ask for references and contact them.
Get information in writing. Don't rely on verbal promises or agree to anything over the phone. Determine what the fees are and when they are due. Do they charge for commission, up-front listings or advertising fees? Understand if the reseller is purchasing the timeshare from you or if you will still own the property and be responsible for the costs until they sell it. Find out if you can rent or sell the timeshare while the reseller is trying to sell it. Know the length of the contract. Who is responsible for closing the sale and do they provide escrow services?
Read the fine print. Understand the terms, conditions, and refund policies.
Check with the timeshare property management. They may be able to sell the timeshare for you or recommend a company. Also find out about restrictions or fees that could affect the resale or ownership transfer.
Get an appraisal. Use an appraiser from a timeshare appraisal service licensed in the state the timeshare is located in. Keep in mind, it will be hard to recoup the original purchase cost, if you haven't owned the timeshare for five years or it is not a popular location.
Use a credit card. They offer more protections than debit cards and other payment forms.
Avoid telemarketing calls. Register with the National Do Not Call Registry to avoid telemarketing calls by visiting www.DoNotCall.gov or calling 888-382-1222. This does not prevent charity or political calls.
If there is a problem with a business you can't resolve on your own, file a BBB complaint at www.bbb.org. Report scams to:
- The Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov.
- The Attorney General's office.