Avoid Timeshare Pitfalls
Protect yourself from common timeshare resale and rental pitfalls
Better Business Lodging is a “For Sale/Rent By Owner” marketing and advertising network with years of experience and will be around for many more years to come. Unfortunately, the timeshare resale industry has long been plagued with unscrupulous organizations. Here are a few types of pitfalls to look out for:
The Timeshare Liquidation Pitfall
These companies begin by soliciting unsuspecting timeshare owners by sending them a glossy postcard in the mail.
The company claims they will buy your timeshare. They are holding a seminar in your area and will only be in your area on a certain date. There is a number to call for the time / place of the meeting, and so they can pre-qualify you over the phone. The qualifications are typically that the deed is fully in your name (all co-owners must attend), and the unit is fully paid for and free and clear of any outstanding maintenance fees. There is usually a small incentive for attending (voucher/gift card/gas card).
Their seminar will tell you all the negative things about timeshares. They will say they’re a financial burden and you won’t be able to sell your timeshare. They will tell you they’re worthless and there is no resale value. They will emphasize all the money you’re spending on maintenance fees, taxes, special assessments etc. At the end of the seminar they will offer to take your timeshare burden off your hands. The cost to you is $3,000+, they ask you to sign over the timeshare and promise you’ll never pay another maintenance fee. You may also be offered membership to a travel club.
Once you pay the $3,000+ the company will have you sign a power of attorney, note: this is not giving them the timeshare legally, even though it’s what they make you believe you’re doing. This is the last real contact you’ll have with the company.
Next the company will put your timeshare on e-bay, for $1 with no reserve. The company isn’t concerned about the price because they already made their money from the $3,000+ you paid them. No matter how much the e-bay auction ends at, it’s all just extra profits for the company, you will never see a penny of this money nor be aware of how they got rid of your timeshare.
If the timeshare doesn’t sell, for whatever reason you will still be responsible for the maintenance fees, taxes and special assessments. The power of attorney you signed doesn’t override your owner responsibilities.
Their method can work in some circumstances but at a very high cost to the owner. They don’t buy your timeshare as they originally stated. No company will outright buy a timeshare from you, the only way to sell a timeshare is through advertising the unit to prospect buyers. Beware!!!
The I Have a buyer Pitfall
This type of company will contact you regarding the timeshare you currently own. They are typically cold calling you from a list of owner’s names they purchased. The company will explain they have a buyer interested in your timeshare lined up. They will tell you the offer (usually more than you paid for the timeshare) and ask if you’d like to accept, you agree. You’re then asked to send costs associated with closing/transferring the deed.
Next you’re told that your closing is set to happen on a certain date. When the date of closing arrives the company will tell you the buyer dropped out, but they will continue to advertise your property until it is sold.
There is another more detailed variation of this story that is commonly used as it gives the company more time and also seems to make consumers less likely to cancel after a certain amount of time has passed.
Your buyer is another company, developer or convention that is purchasing a large amount of timeshare properties to use for business professionals. You pay the closing costs upfront then you’re put on a list for closing and to wait until it’s your turn to close. As you call and check in over the next few months you’re told each time that your number on the list is lower and to be patient. When it comes close to your time to “go to closing” you’re told that the buyer has unexpectedly dropped out but they will continue to advertise your property, even sometimes going so far as to say a new buyer has been found and the whole list spiel starts over again.
With this type of company there is no buyer in the first place, it was a ploy to get your money and the goal is to stall you for long enough that you forget about it or are past credit card cancellation periods. Beware!!!
The Press 1 Pitfall
This type of company is usually located somewhere outside of the United States and masks their phone number. They have merchant’s out of the country as well and usually don’t care about any of the laws for any state. They will often provide you with a “too good to be true guarantee,” or a ” one year money back guarantee,” because they plan to go out of business or just disappear. For starter’s, press one campaign are no longer legal in the US. Secondly, if you try calling the number back on your caller id it will never work. Beware!!!
Now, The Best Way to Rent or Sell your Timeshare
The best way to sell or rent timeshare is to consistently advertise to the right market at a fair value that is comparable to what the potential renter might already be spending or have spent in the past. Better Business Lodging combines the resources of its advertiser’s to create massive amounts of exposure on a local, national and global level. By helping connect timeshare buyers, sellers and renters, Better Business Lodging has created an effective solution for timeshare owners who have decided that their timeshare no longer fits their lifestyle. To learn more about buying, selling or renting your timeshare contact us today. Let’s get started! 🙂