Resale Scam Alert

For over 7 years, Timeshare Closing Group has received calls from timeshare owners asking questions about a potential sale of their timeshare. The facts of the situations are always very similar. Typically, a cold call offer from an outfit that sounds legitimate offering to go to contract on the sale of a timeshare for a $20,000 – $50,000 sales price. Once you sign a contract, the people you are dealing with request money for upfront closing costs and they require it to be wired or sent via Western Union or a method where you don’t have fraud protection. These payment methods cannot be reversed. They will never accept payment via credit card where you could contest the transaction later. There have been periods of time where calls were frequent and other times where call volume has been scarce. The offers are always something that sounds too good to be true.

I can’t stress this enough. Please check out who you are dealing with. If you are selling a timeshare for any value and are to receive proceeds from the sale that would exceed the money they are asking you to pay, then your costs would be deducted from the gross price and you would get an net amount. (For example, a $25,000 sale, with costs to seller of $2000, would result in net proceeds of $23,000. The seller would not pay $2000 up front for closing).  You would not pay closing costs up front unless the sales price was very low (under $1000 for instance).  The phone scam isn’t new, but the callers using a name similar to this company has been frequent at times over the years. Calls to this firm went down when the warning below was inserted on this website.

Timeshare sales are real estate transactions and covered by real estate laws in the states where the property is located. A realtor or broker contacting you regarding a sale will be able to provide broker license information you can verify with the state where they are licensed. Please do your homework on anyone that contacts you with an offer to purchase your timeshare property.

Note that Timeshare Closing Group is a timeshare transfer company, most of our business comes from direct referrals from licensed real estate brokers or referrals timeshare owners with existing relationships with this firm. We do not make cold calls to customers with offers to purchase.  You may be contacted by a broker that is legitimate as sales calls are made in this industry. But verifying their information would be easy as they will be more than happy to provide referrals. If you are selling a timeshare and there is real value in the sales price, you won’t be asked to come out of pocket to pay closing costs in advance of closing.  If you think a purchase offer is “too good to be true,” it probably is. Always feel free to contact us directly with any questions or concerns.



Timeshare Transfer Options

The Timeshare Industry is constantly on the watch for deceptive and unethical business practice.  Seemingly every ethical pocket of the industry that provides honest assistance to owners, often becomes the focal point of unethical or deceptive companies looking to take advantage of customers.  Unethical companies often mimicking the successful business plan of legitimate companies, while preying on the customers through unethical solicitation and pressuring them into bad decision.  A trend developing involves resale and transfers on the secondary market.  As I’ve covered in this blog before, the timeshare resale industry has exploded in recent years, mainly because most resort developers do not offer a resale or rental program, and a large volume of timeshare in the United States is owned by an aging portion of the population no longer interested in traveling as they have in the past.

Legitimate transfer options exist for owner who no longer wish to continue to travel.  Transfer companies often charge a fee to transfer the timeshare from the owner, divesting the owner of all legal responsibility of future obligation in regards to ownership, maintenance fees, and exchange companies.  Transfer companies provide expertise in areas where an owner may be unfamiliar, that experience often comes from years of working within the resort companies and/or from years of working in the resale industry.   There is no list that will tell you whether the company you are dealing with has an established credible track record, but there are guidelines you can follow to assure that you won’t be the target of a scam.

Transfer Guidelines:

If you find that you can no longer use your timeshare, check first with your resort developer or homeowners association to see if they offer a resale or transfer program, or are affiliated with a licensed real estate broker to handle resales. In addition, some non-profit organizations accept timeshares as a donation. Before transferring your product, make sure you research the organization and understand the process.  If you are solicited by a company offering to “take your timeshare off your hands,” be extremely cautious, especially if they make it sound as though they will pay you for your timeshare.

Top Questions to Ask a Timeshare Transfer Company:

1. Ask what you must pay in order to transfer the timeshare to the company and how they will accomplish the transfer.

2. Ask if they will require you to sign a “power of attorney” and, if so, ask them to send you a copy so you can have your attorney review it before you sign it.

3. Ask if the company will notify your resort and exchange company of the transfer and will provide proof of these notifications.

4. Ask how soon your timeshare will be legally transferred, i.e. now, in 30 days, 90 days, etc.

5. Ask who will be responsible for paying your costs of ownership (maintenance fees, taxes, etc.) while the transfer is pending.

6. Get all of the answers to your questions in writing before you pay any money, and have a knowledgeable friend or professional advisor review the information with you.

7. Ask for the names and phone numbers of other timeshare owners who have used the company’s transfer services so you can call and ask about their experience.

8. Finally, do not succumb to pressure. If this is a legitimate company offering a reputable service, they should encourage you to take the necessary time to research the company and make an informed decision. If you are being pressured to do this now, walk away.