If you own a vacation timeshare - the use of a vacation home for a limited, pre-planned time - be cautious of bogus resale companies who take advantage of anxious sellers in an overcrowded market.
Better Business Bureau advises, "Unscrupulous companies typically contact you by phone, mail or the Internet asking you to call a phone number about your timeshare. The salesperson may claim that the market is "hot" for resales, when in fact the market varies considerably depending on location and the prime season for that particular unit." For an advance fee of about $300 to $700, some salespeople promise to sell your timeshare for a price equal to or greater than your purchase price. They may claim to have a list of sales agents and potential buyers. While the seller may possess these lists, it is unlikely the parties are interested buyers. Polino adds, "To further entice you, they may promise a money-back guarantee or a government bond if they cannot sell your timeshare within a certain amount of time. In the end some owners have found that their timeshare did not sell, their fee was not returned and they were given a bond worth as little as $60 to $70."
If you are considering reselling your timeshare and are approached by a company offering to help, the Better Business Bureau recommends the following:
Keep in mind that there are other resale options. You may try selling your timeshare yourself, by placing an ad in a newspaper or magazine, or contacting a real estate agent familiar with the area. If all the timeshares have been sold in your development, consider asking the seller to establish an on-site resale office. As an alternative, you may consider an exchange program. For a fee, these programs allow you to arrange trades with other resort units in different locations.
This information is general in nature and is not intended as a reliability report on any company, product, or service.