Now is the time many families begin to browse travel advertisements in anticipation of summer vacations. Timeshare opportunities are one option that many vacationers find enticing. So, too, do scam artists! Unscrupulous companies are contacting timeshare owners by phone, mail or the Internet claiming that the market is "hot" for resale's, when in fact the market varies considerably depending on location and the prime season for that particular unit.
If you plan to resale your timeshare, the Better Business Bureau recommends you do the following:
- Do not agree to anything over the telephone until you have had a chance to check out the company
- Ask the person to send you written materials
- Ask for references, including address and phone numbers and contact them
- Ask where the company is located and in what states it does business
- Ask if the company's salespeople are licensed to sell real estate where your timeshare is located. If so, verify this with the state licensing board
- Find out if the company charges a commission. Do they handle the entire closing and provide escrow services? Do they charge an up-front listing or advertising fee? What does it cover and is it refundable?
Be wary of companies charging an advance "appraisal" fee for services. Consider opting for a company that offers to sell for a fee only after the timeshare is sold.