How to Spot A Timeshare Scam

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There have been many timeshare scams over the years that have taken a surprising number of unsuspecting people for a lot of money. Fortunately, there are ways for you to spot a scamming timeshare company by keeping yourself knowledgeable. At our brokerage, we get many stories of scammed buyers and sellers, but we want you to know. If you do your research, you will definitely be able to buy or sell your timeshare without being taking advantage of.

Whether it’s worth what you’d like to sell it for is another story, but there’s no reason you can’t find a company to at least do a free market analysis, and explain how they arrived at that price.

Up-Front Fees

When looking to sell your timeshare, it is important to look for a licensed company that charges no up-front fees. A common issue with many timeshare scams, is that the company will quote the seller a sizable return on their property, while asking for an up-front fee in order to create the listing.

This creates a situation where the seller pays an up-front fee simply because their delighted to hear their ownership is worth so much, but the seller is usually not being quoted fair market value for their ownership. Then, the company can pocket the money from the listing and make no attempts to sell the property. Many listing agencies don’t even carry the appropriate licensing needed to legally sell your ownership. By providing a resale company with compensation before they sell your timeshare, you remove any incentive they would have to help you sell, much less get a good price.

If It’s Too Good To Be True…

Many of these scam companies will tell you that they can do the impossible. If you’re trying to sell your property and they claim they can sell anything and get you thousands above fair market value. These are lies to get you to give them your property or at least an upfront fee.

It is also important to know your state’s laws because some states require the deposit be held in escrow until five days after the completion of the transaction to give them the option of cancelling their timeshare purchase. A high pressure sales pitch can play on your emotions and decision making, which can lead to purchasing something you don’t want or can’t afford. This five day period gives the buyer a chance to get out of the deal.

Always put your foot down on using a third-party closing company to ensure your transaction is overseen by an impartial party.

Spot a Timeshare Scam

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is one starting place to see if you can trust a timeshare company. Not only to they provide a standard in business practices, it is also a way to file complaints and report fraudulent activity. All BBB companies must be accredited and must maintain good standing with the BBB. Do some research on the company and see if their PO box or address matches the states that the agents are licensed to sell as well as where the company can do business.

Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You

One major red flag is a company coming to you without you showing any interest in their company at all and offering an amazing deal for you -or- telling you that your property is worthless and you will need them to sell it for you. They will hard sell you into giving them money upfront for their services. Any timeshare company that is legitimate will not ask for any upfront fees over about $30 for a classified listing. A licensed and accredited company will wait for the sale to be finalized before they receive a commission on the transaction.

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Learning how to check a timeshare resale broker’s license is an important consideration for any timeshare buyer or seller.

If you have any more questions about how to spot a company that’s trying to pull a timeshare scam, feel free to contact us.