If you are looking to sell your timeshare, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advises you to be cautious of resale scams. Con artists target individuals who are financially stressed and desperate to unload their pricey vacation co-ops. The scammers will convince the timeshare owner that numerous buyers are clamoring to purchase the hot property. Unfortunately, this is a lie and merely a ploy to help persuade the seller to pay hefty up-front fees.
The FTC advises that if you are approached by a company offering to resell your timeshare, be skeptical and follow these tips:
- Don’t agree to anything on the phone or online until you’ve had a chance to check out the reseller. Contact the state Attorney General and local consumer protection agencies in the state where the reseller is located. Ask if any complaints are on file. You also can search online for complaints.
- Ask the salesperson for all information in writing.
- Ask if the reseller’s agents are licensed to sell real estate where your timeshare is located. If so, verify it with the state Real Estate Commission. Deal only with licensed real estate brokers and agents, and ask for references from satisfied clients.
- Ask how the reseller will advertise and promote the timeshare unit. Will you get progress reports? How often?
- Ask about fees and timing. It’s preferable to do business with a reseller that takes its fee after the timeshare is sold. If you must pay a fee in advance, ask about refunds. Get refund policies and promises in writing.
- Don’t assume you’ll recoup your purchase price for your timeshare, especially if you’ve owned it for less than five years and the location is less than well-known.
The FTC also advises the resale scammers, “law enforcement agencies at every level of government are working together to put an end to this problem.” In fact, the FTC recently announced “191 actions to stop fraudulent operations hawking timeshare property resale services and travel prizes.”
To read the full article, visit www.ftc.gov/opa/2013/06/timesharerelease.shtm.