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Tag: Timeshare

How to Sell your Timeshare Safely

Many Americans have chosen to purchase a stake in a Timeshare so that they can enjoy time away from their home with their families, without the hassle of trying to book a hotel or Airbnb. Many get into timeshares not only to have a secure place to vacation with their families and loved ones, but also with the anticipation that they’ll be able to sell their timeshare for a profit once they’ve decided they don’t want them anymore. Unlike traditional real estate contracts and ownership clauses, which grant possession of a plot of land to a buyer, timeshare deals work out such that purchasers own the property for a distinct amount of time, and ownership changes hands frequently after the allotted time is up.

Because of the complicated legalese, it’s easy for ne’er-do-wells to take advantage of people trying to sell their timeshares. Between fallacious fees and doctored legal documents, predators target individuals who are desperate to get out of their timeshare holding and can syphon bank accounts in the blink of an eye. Older Americans are especially easy prey for scammers who seek to inflict harm because of the financial constraints of fixed incomes and desperation to get out from under a timeshare agreement. If you’re trying to sell your stake in a timeshare, be cautious and follow your gut if something seems off. Below are some other red flags to keep in mind if you’re trying to sell a timeshare.

Be on your guard if a company cold-calls you | Realistically, the demand for your timeshare is likely rather low. If a company randomly calls you and makes you an offer, there’s a strong chance that they’re simply trying to get you excited enough to hand over sensitive data, which they can then use to can take certain amounts of money.

Exercise caution if the price looks too good to be true | By and large, don’t count on your timeshare being a high-return investment, and depending on the state of the economy, you may even take a loss on your sale. A common ploy for scammers is to offer you an unreasonably high price for your timeshare so that you let your guard down and volunteer account information that you should not.

Never ever pay upfront fees | There is almost no legitimate reason why you should ever have to send money to a buyer or company before the negotiation has started. If someone requests some kind of fee, tax, or inspection, you should approach with extreme caution and perhaps even consult a lawyer to ensure the legitimacy. Scammers will often demand up-front money and once they receive it, they will completely disappear.

When it comes to selling timeshares, always be patient and highly prudent when you vet potential buyers. As the old adage goes, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

What to Know Before Buying a Timeshare

Many people today understand the risks of purchasing timeshares, and often avoid the seemingly useless investment altogether. However, there are benefits to owning one. They can guarantee you a vacation time with the fixed annual dates you are allowed to operate within the home, and they are a great alternative to hotels in that you have all of your own personal amenities in a private space. But, before taking the plunge and buying a timeshare, take all of the most important considerations into account.

Know Your Rights

Sales pitches and the salesmen giving them have been accused time and time again of forcing customers to purchase timeshares through unethical, and, at times, illegal methods. To combat this, several states have adopted the “right of rescission,” which gives buyers the possibility of opting out of a contract should they feel it is not worth their time or money. However, be aware that these rights vary from state to state, and many timeshare companies are well aware of which states have the most lenient laws, effectively taking advantage of that location’s customers.

Know What You’re Getting

Understand that a timeshare is exactly as the name suggests: a shared piece of property with which you are given a certain period of time to occupy its quarters throughout the year (typically one to two weeks). This provides you with the conveniences of a luxury resort while avoiding the hassles. But, it’s important to keep in mind that you will not be the only person using this space. Never leave any personal items behind.

Another important aspect to understand about purchasing a timeshare is that it is not an investment. Its value will not increase over time. Those looking to invest and make money are mistaken. The only reason you should be purchasing a timeshare is because you actually want to spend time in its respective location.

Know When You’re Being Scammed

Not all timeshare purchases are scams, but many salesmen will offer to throw in a “free gift” or something of the like in an attempt to have you pay more than you have to. Similarly, there are hundreds of cases of resale scams for buyers who are struggling to sell their timeshare. If you are contacted by a “buyer” who is seemingly ecstatic to buy your timeshare, approach with caution. A few red flags include them offering to pay more than the asking price, and receiving any calls at all if you haven’t advertised your sale. Luckily, there are laws in place that help timeshare owners properly navigate this complex industry, and avoid falling victim to the many financial traps that exist.

Common Complaints When Dealing With Timeshare Companies

Investing in a timeshare can be an incredibly rewarding experience, so long as the process to do so goes smoothly, which is often easier said than done. Timeshare companies are regularly subject to speculation and criticism from the general public, as they have, in the past and today, been strongly associated negative stigmas.

One of the most common complaints people have about working with timeshare companies is the cost, and needing to make a decision that day, or in the sales meeting. Sales pitches and meetings with potential investors very rarely detail the cost of the investment right out of the gate. Salesmen in this field have their jobs for a reason. They are highly skilled at attracting customers without ever mentioning the hidden fees that frequently come with timeshares. Pay close attention to any contracts you are planning on signing. This a case in which you will want to read through thoroughly to avoid falling victim to these unmentioned payments.

Another complaint that is heard quite often is regarding the presentations that salesmen conduct themselves. These can be incredibly time consuming, while also alluring from the start. The most effective salesmen will typically market their presentations with a “complimentary gift” if you attend.

For those who have little to no knowledge on timeshares, cases have come forth in which the salesmen belittle their intelligence, and come off as very insulting. The entire experience can be unsettling for individuals, and will usually lead to more complaints through word of mouth.

Don’t feel as though you are obligated to sit through an entire presentation. If the pitch begins to become aggressive or make you uncomfortable in any way, stand up and leave the room. The worst mistake you can make is agreeing to something simply out of fear.

It is crucial to understand the difference between a legitimately good timeshare salesman, and a scam artist. The first step you can take in doing this is visiting the Better Business Bureau and check for complaints on the company that you are planning on meeting with. Avoid signing anything at the presentation. As mentioned before, hidden fees are common in these, and the best way to avoid them is by refusing to sign a single document until you’ve heard and have read through every detail. Once you have given your signature, make a copy of the document so that the company cannot attempt to change any of the stipulations.

Discuss your experiences with other timeshare owners. Shared information is a surefire way to better understand certain timeshare companies and their practices. Have they experienced any problems themselves with the home or company? Have they had negative experiences with the company’s representatives? These are important questions to ask in order to best avoid a poor investment.

Timeshare companies can be intimidating to many people, in that their processes are often drawn out and expensive. Look for the red flags when considering purchasing or renting a timeshare, and work intelligently to ensure that you are not wasting your money.

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