Doesn't it seem like there are more people trying to sell their timeshares than there are buying them?
The situation is so bad that some sellers price their timeshares at $1 or less . Unfortunately, nobody bothers to tell you how hard it is to sell a timeshare before you purchase one.
However, timeshare resale is just as much of a scam as the original investment.
In 2014, over 350 individuals fell victim to a timeshare resale scam in Florida . As a whole, the scammers cheated these individuals out of over $750,000.
This article will take a closer look at why timeshare resale is always the wrong way to go. Keep reading to find out why you should avoid this scam no matter what.
Signs of a Typical Timeshare Resale Scam
When you own a timeshare, many resell companies will target you. They know that getting rid of a timeshare is next to impossible. As a result, they can't wait to pounce on you and try to take advantage of your desperation.
Here's the truth: if something sounds too good to be true, it almost always is. Don't fall for the empty promises, and keep in mind that it's not worth the risk.
The following are a few of the biggest warning signs you should look out for to avoid a timeshare resale scam.
They Ask for Upfront Fees
Here's where they get you. Scammers usually ask for anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars upfront.
If anyone tells you that you need to pay a fee upfront to cover closing costs, taxes, or anything else, run the other way. Once you actually send them the money, you probably won't hear from them again.
Also, ignore anyone who promises that they can get back the money you lost from the scam. This is actually just another common scam.
They Promise a Giant Return
One of the first things most resellers will tell you is that they can guarantee huge returns on your resale. While it sounds great, don't believe the lie.
In reality, it would be a miracle to get back a fraction of what you paid in the first place. When you're attempting to sell a timeshare, you can expect to lose money on your investment.
The Contract Is Sketchy
By the time resellers show you a contract, it will look a lot different than what you may have discussed with them.
In most cases, you won't even see a contract. This is another immediate red flag that signals a scammer.
They Brag About Willing Buyers
Resellers love to exclaim that there are numerous buyers waiting to throw money at you. They'll also make the bogus claim that they can sell your timeshare by a certain date.
If it were this easy to sell a timeshare, you wouldn't be in this mess to begin with. The reality is that there are no willing buyers. These scammers are selling you a fantasy -- nothing more.
They Claim the Market Is Thriving
You'll sometimes run into a reseller that tells you that the timeshare market in your region is flourishing. They may even try to convince you with phony timeshare resale stats and figures.
However, this is the easiest lie to spot. You know better than anyone that the market in your area is dead. You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who is eager to take your timeshare off your hands.
What to do if You Still Want to Resell
Timeshare resale makes you vulnerable to many swindlers. It's extremely rare to get a great return through a reseller.
However, if you're still convinced that timeshare resale is a good idea, there are many precautions to note. Here are some of the steps you should take before trusting a reseller.
Demand Everything in Writing
Start off by letting them know that you wish to see all of their information in writing. If the reseller refuses to cooperate, move on.
Ask About Licenses
All resellers should have licenses to sell real estate in your area. If they claim to have a license, double check with your state's Real Estate Commission. Never deal with unlicensed agents.
Probe Them About Fees
Ideally, you should only have to pay fees once the reseller sells the timeshare. If they have any upfront fees, demand a written version of their refund policy.
Never Agree to Anything Over the Phone
Many scammers will attempt to get you to agree to something online or over the phone. Refrain from doing so.
Before you even think about agreeing, try to reach your local state Attorney General . Check to see if they have any complaints in their system. Next, scour the net looking for any online complaints as well.
Throw Them a Curveball
To find out how serious they really are, ask the resellers how they plan to inform you about their progress. Inquire about how often you can expect to receive progress reports and see how they respond.
Expect to Lose Money on Your Investment
In reality, a timeshare is not an investment. Investments usually involve a return at some point.
Even if you manage to sell your timeshare, don't expect to get a return. You're going to lose money no matter how you approach the situation.
The ideal escape is from a timeshare is one that doesn't involve any more scamming.
In certain situations, agencies with attorneys can help you recoup the money you've already lost through fees. However, if they're legitimate, they will not make any phony promises to recover your money.
Remember to keep your expectations realistic . But keep in mind that there is a way to cancel your timeshare properly.
Unload Your Timeshare Safely
The fact is that timeshare resale will get you in an even bigger bind. All the empty promises made by resellers only lead to even heftier fees than the one you dole out every year.
Over the years, timeshares have rightfully developed a bad rap. Consequently, people have become cautious about purchasing them.
However, there's no reason to hold on to a timeshare and flush more of your hard-earned money down the toilet. Instead of entertaining resellers, your best option is to use the laws to your advantage.
If you want to get cancel your timeshare safely, request a free consultation with us. We'll fight to help you get rid of your timeshare in a legal and timely manner.