Avoiding Timeshare Resale Scams

Many timeshare resale companies claim to have buyers waiting to make a deposit on your week. All they need is a $995 deposit from you. It’s refundable. Or the company has a money-back guarantee.

I know that you want to believe that pitch, but please don’t. There aren’t any buyers waiting to get your timeshare. Once the company has your money, they have no significant incentive to work for you. And even with guarantees and other promises, you won’t get your money back when you complain.

There are narrow exceptions to this advice against paying up-front fees – for selected nominal fees ($15-$30), such as to place an ad in a specific publication. With the recent economic problems there has been a surge in people trying to sell their timeshare. They may have bought it when times were better, or have come into life changes and now need to get rid of the timeshare. Unfortunately, this created the Timeshare Resale, or shall we say Timeshare Scam market.

Because there is an overwhelming number of people who are upset being stuck with their timeshare and desperately want to get rid of it, there are an overwhelming number of fraudulent companies that want to take everything they can get from timeshare owners.

There are very few honest timeshare resale companies out there, and even though not everyone who is interested in selling your timeshare is out to steal from you, there are quite a few tell-tale signs that a company is not on the up-and-up when it comes to timeshare resale. Some of these include:

  • They call you and tell you they have a buyer for your timeshare. If you still owe money on your timeshare, there is not a legitimate buyer that wants it.
  • They ask for money to get you released from your timeshare contract. During the phone call the scammer will try to scare or pressure you into paying them in advance.
  • They want up front money to list or market your timeshare. If a real estate company doesn’t need the seller to give them money to sell their house, why would a timeshare resale company?

Be concerned if the contact wants to rush you through the process. High pressure tactics such as when you bought the timeshare are common. The scammers don’t want to give you time to think about what you are agreeing to, and they certainly don’t want to give you the time to contact your attorney.

A well-trained scammer specializes in getting you to make a decision in one phone call. They want to get as much information out of you as possible, and never speak with you again. They won’t give you an accurate number to contact them at because they don’t want the authorities being able to find them.

Do your research before choosing a company to sell your timeshare. Selling property is a big decision, timeshares are no different. Take your time and find a company that will get the best deal for you they can and confirm they are a credible company. Check with their state’s Division of Corporation to see how long they have been in business. Search online to see if there are any complaints, reviews or posts about them. The more research you do, the less chance you have of getting scammed out of your money or property.

Ideally, talk to a timeshare attorney. Many of them offer free consultations. Take advantage of their generosity and find out what your rights and responsibilities are. If there is any way to get out of your contract, whether it is through using the option known as timeshare property cancellation or selling your property, they will know.