If you’re thinking of selling a timeshare, the FTC cautions you to question resellers — real estate brokers and agents who specialize in reselling timeshares. They may claim that the market in your area is “hot” and that they’re overwhelmed with buyer requests. Some may even say that they have buyers ready to purchase your timeshare, or promise to sell your timeshare within a specific time. All they need is an upfront fee to get the ball rolling. Well, hold onto your money and read on.
Today, the FTC is charging the operators of a timeshare reselling scheme with bilking at least $15 million from timeshare owners by charging upfront fees of as much as $2,500 — or more — with promises they would rent or sell the properties. As time passed, the defendants would ask owners for more money, claiming the sale was about to take place and even characterizing the additional fees as closing costs. When the promises weren’t kept, consumer requests for refunds were routinely denied or ignored. Not anymore. At the FTC’s request, a federal court has temporarily halted the operation while the FTC seeks to permanently stop the illegal practices and get money back for consumers.
If you own a timeshare, question any offers to help you resell it. Be skeptical of companies that:
- claim the market in your area is “hot” and that they’re “overwhelmed” with buyer requests
- say they have buyers ready to purchase your timeshare — or promise to sell your timeshare within a specific time
- guarantee you’ll get big returns on your resale
- require you to pay fees upfront — even if there’s the promise of a “money-back guarantee”
- don’t provide a contract — or provide a contract that doesn’t accurately reflect conversations you had
For more information, see buying and selling a timeshare, or check out our infographic to see how timeshare resale scams typically work.