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San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties

Educational Consumer Tips

Timeshare Resale

Author: Better Business Bureau
Published:

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a warning to consumers to exercise caution when selling a timeshare through a reseller. This is especially important when being solicited by a salesperson claiming the local market is "hot" and there are already buyers available for a particular timeshare. The FTC recommends taking the following steps before considering selling a timeshare:

- Don't immediately agree to anything over the phone or online. Check out the reseller with the Better Business Bureau (www.sandiego.bbb.org), and the California Attorney General (www.ag.ca.gov)
- Ask if the reseller's agents are licensed to sell real estate where the timeshare is located. If so, verify the license with the Department of Real Estate. 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 progress reports be issued? How often?-    Ask about fees and timing. It's better if the reseller takes its fee after the timeshare is sold. If a fee must be paid in advance, ask about refunds. Get refund policies and promises in writing.
- Don't count on recouping the purchase price of a timeshare, especially if you've owned it for less than five years.
- Check with the resort to determine restrictions, limits, or fees that could affect resale or ownership transfer.

Before you sign a contract with a reseller, the BBB suggests you get all of the details of the contract in writing before you sign including specifically:

- All services the reseller agrees to perform; 
- The amount of all fees and commissions for services and when they are to be paid;
- Whether you can rent or sell the timeshare on your own at the same time the reseller is trying to sell your unit;
- The length of time the reseller has to sell the timeshare and what recourse you have if your timeshare is not sold in the allotted time;
- Which party is responsible for documenting and closing the sale;
- All cancellation and refund policies If the deal isn't what you expected or wanted, don't sign the contract. It is okay to negotiate changes or find another reseller. 

A full article published by the FTC can be viewed at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2010/08/timeshare.shtm