Timeshare resale agents operate the same way as a real estate agent – they get paid only when you sell your property. A legitimate timeshare resales agent will charge a commission after the sale is finalized and take a fee out of the net proceeds from the transaction (which helps to explain why there are very few timeshare resale agents in the business right now with timeshares selling so low). Also keep in mind – there are never any upfront fees or advertising costs to be paid by the seller in this type of timeshare sale.
Types of timeshare resale companies you need to be weary of…
1) They want you to pay for listing fees, advertising costs, taxes, closing, title search, notary fees, etc. in advance of the sale.
2) They require an upfront fee (oftentimes greater than what the timeshare’s current market value) to utilize their services.
3) A credit card or down payment is required prior to being sent a contract for your review.
4) They’re offering to purchase/sell/rent your timeshare from you for far greater than the present market value.
5) They lack an identifiable physical address and employees are difficult to contact by methods other than email.
6) They claim to already have someone interested in buying or renting your timeshare.
If you have entered into a contract with one of these companies, this is what you can expect next:
After your fees are paid you’ll receive the contract. The contract will state that the company is only obligated to advertise your timeshare for sale, not to actually help in any of the sale/rental of the unit. You’ll see in the contract that there is no mention of an actual buyer for the unit, and it will not have any information regarding how they will process the sale.
This company will be pretty difficult to get a hold of. They will have a great looking website with contact information that either doesn’t work entirely, or will direct you to email communication. You probably won’t hear anything from them for awhile after you sign the contract, or they may do the exact opposite and contact you frequently to provide you with false or misleading “updates” on the process of your sale. They’ll reiterate the fact to you that many, many interested people are viewing your property through their website, and may even try to up-sell you on one of their higher priced advertising packages.
How can I get out of the contract?
Unfortunately, if you’ve signed and paid this can be a very difficult task because of the way these contracts are worded. By giving your signature you are acknowledging that they promised only to advertise your timeshare for sale, not to actually conduct any sale of said property. Your pleas to the company will fall on deaf ears, and taking up the issue with the credit card company is likely to not yield such great results. One way the credit card company can help you is to issue a stop payment if it is a recurring fee you’re experiencing, but they’re unlikely to help you recoup any of the monies lost.