Timeshare Advertising Websites
There are now hundreds of websites that offer to sell timeshares that only do advertising. This is now the largest element in the timeshare resale industry. Technically, they never sell anything but an ad to the timeshare owner wanting to sell a timeshare. The owner must deal with the buyer, provide negotiating skills, contracts and figure out how to close the sale and get the proceeds. Most of these sites attract very small numbers of buyers. It is mainly timeshare sellers that fall victim to the possibility of the sale. Some do a good job of providing leads to the advertising owners and do offer forms to use in the sale; however, they would be stepping over the licensing boundary if they give you advice about how to fill them out or assist with the negotiation.
Only a professional real estate representative can handle the complexity in all the details to complete a timeshare resale transaction which differs greatly from that offered by an unlicensed entity. This is the current situation in the USA. The use of look-a-like services can frustrate buyers and sellers to the timeshare resale process and can cause loss of time and money that could have been saved. If you use an alternative reseller because you want to save money, you may find that there is no savings in time or money because many of these companies prey on unsuspecting owners wanting to sell. Further, if a buyer visits one of these sites to purchase a timeshare and finds that the site does not have the proper infrastructure to get the sale done, the buyer can become so frustrated that they end up not buying at all.
Cold Call Companies
Sometimes owners get a phone call or a letter from someone claiming to have a buyer for their property. All they need is a sizable payment to cover closing costs – and they pressure you to pay immediately before the buyer gets away. Frequently these companies make a bundle, quickly close up their shops and move their business to another state or country to avoid prosecution. If they are not licensed, they very likely may not be legitimate. Brokers and representatives generally get the sale commission at the finalization of sale closing and the funding of the proceeds to the owner. If you get such a call, report them to the regulatory authorities in your state or country. Need I say more?
How do you protect yourself and react in case of a timeshare fraud?
Service offerings for resales are often copied very convincingly and/or the fraud is often difficult to detect visually. If you suspect the company is unlicensed and providing real estate services of negotiation or contracting, get all the information and report them to the regulatory authorities. If you suspect they are not legitimately in the business of finding buyers for timeshare properties, report them to the regulatory authorities. If you get a call from someone who wants to sit down with you and give you information about your resort, call your resort and your exchange company to find out if there is something going on that you need to know about before you go to or attend a presentation. Even if they say they are with the resort where you own, call your resort at the numbers on your paperwork to confirm any legitimate offering.