In light of recent timeshare and closing company scams, the BBB has once again released new advice for timeshare sellers. The Better Business Bureau is designed to protect consumers from fraudulent business practices while setting market standards and encouraging and supporting best practices.
Timeshare Broker Sales wears its BBB Accreditation proudly as a way to signify to our clients that we are a reputable and trustworthy source for timeshare resales.
So, what does the BBB have to say about protecting yourself while selling your timeshare? Check out the full article, entitled “Before Selling Your Timeshare, Take This Into Consideration!” Or see our short-list below. Among their talking-points for safely selling your timeshare:
- Reputation: Make sure that you are dealing with a reputable company. Check with the Better Business Bureau and Attorney General for previous complaints.
- Licensing: Are they licensed? Check with the local Real Estate Commission.
- Upfront Fees: Are there upfront fees? How much? Ed. Note: Beware of paying upfront to sell your timeshare. This is a hallmark of timeshare scams.
- Associated Costs: Will you be responsible for monthly fees, annual and closing costs, percentage increases, commission, tax, etc.? Are these fees agreeable to you?
- Brokerage or Advertising: Is the reseller actually advocating to “resell” your property, or simply advertise it for sale?
One final warning: If you are being promised that a buyer is “waiting in the wings,” it’s likely that this may be an attempt at misleading you into prematurely signing a contract or sending an upfront fee.
Don’t be fooled. Do your research and choose a reputable timeshare brokerage company, like Timeshare Broker Sales. We are leaders in vacation ownership resales, and we never charge an upfront fee for our services.
Every year, the American Resort Developers Association (ARDA) holds a World Convention focusing on the vacation ownership and timeshare industry.
This year, the 2012 American Resort Development Association (ARDA) World Convention and Exposition ran from April 1-5, and focused on global vacation ownership issues, with an “international theme” present throughout all educational forums and workshops.
International Timeshare Market
Sessions included information on the similarities and differences in sales practices across the globe, tips on how timeshare brokers and resort developers can break into international markets, and exclusive ARDA research findings on the state of international timeshare resales, which appear to be on the rise.
Social Media, Technology & Timeshare Resales
In addition to information on leveraging potential international sales and markets, industry leaders focused on social media as a way to use “the industry’s most powerful marketing tool – happy owners – to turn the tide of online commentary, engage a new generation of prospective buyers, and turn interest into bookings and sales.”*
Finally, the ARDA Technology Forum examined the efficacy of web-site marketing, exploring how to attract and engage users in a market where consumers are naturally wary.
At Timeshare Broker Sales, we believe the best way to serve our clients and potential customers is to provide them with honest, relevant and up-to-date information about vacation ownership right here on our website, and to engage with them via social media networks like Twitter and Facebook. We also invite consumers to contact us any time with their timeshare resale questions.
Last week, the Better Business Bureau began an investigation into the legitimacy of an Iowa-based “vacation ownership closing company” going by the name of Wade Capital Management.
According to iowa.bbb.org, “the company purports to be located at 668 19th Street in Des Moines, Iowa; however, mail sent to this address has been returned as undeliverable. The address is a 7 unit apartment building. The owner of the building states that there is no business known as Wade Capital Management operating from such location.”
Unfortunately, this story sounds all too familiar. In addition to fake resale companies and upfront-fee agencies, phony closing or escrow companies are just another way that timeshare sellers can get scammed. Looking to sell your timeshare? We can’t say it enough – do your research! Want a crash course?
The BBB and the FTC offer the following advice for those wishing to sell their timeshare:
- Don’t agree to anything on the phone or online until you’ve had a chance to check out the reseller. Contact the BBB and the state Attorney General where the reseller is located.
- Ask the salesperson for all information in writing.
- Ask if the reseller’s agents are licensed to sell real estate where your timeshare is located. If so, verify it with the state Real Estate Commission. Deal only with licensed real estate brokers and agents, and ask for references from satisfied clients.
- Ask about fees and timing. It’s preferable to do business with a reseller that takes its fee after the timeshare is sold. If you must pay a fee in advance, ask about refunds. Get refund policies and promises in writing.
- Don’t assume you’ll recoup your purchase price for your timeshare, especially if you’ve owned it for less than five years and the location is less than well-known.
SOURCE: BBB Warns Consumers of Phony Timeshare Escrow Service: 04/04/12. Retrieved from: http://iowa.bbb.org/article/BBB-Warns-Consumers-of-Phony-Timeshare-Escrow-Service-33650
Selling your timeshare can be a tricky business. Unfortunately, unprepared sellers too often fall victim to timeshare scams or ineffective marketing schemes. Many sellers find themselves in difficult financial situations and, out of desperation, make rash decisions without proper research. Others simply don’t know the warning-signs. So, what’s the number one mistake timeshare sellers make, and how can you protect yourself?
Paying an upfront fee is the number one mistake timeshare sellers make. Whether a company is selling you ad-space on their “highly visible” website, or promising to close the sale for a “ready and waiting” buyer – it’s rarely worth taking the risk to pay upfront for services.
Scammers trick vulnerable sellers into cutting them checks to “close a deal” while ad-sites charge a flat fee to list your property among thousands of others – with no guarantee of sale. After all, once they’ve got your money, what’s their incentive to sell your timeshare?
So What can Timeshare Sellers Do?
Always use a licensed timeshare broker to sell your timeshare. Timeshare brokers, like other real-estate agents, don’t collect any payment until the sale is complete. Brokers work on a commission basis, meaning they’ve got true incentive to sell your timeshare. Additionally, brokers must maintain licensing to practice – ensuring a measure of reputability and transparency.
Other Timeshare Selling No-No’s
Now that you know the number one timeshare selling sin, rethink your strategy. Take the time to research carefully, and consider the following final “no-no’s” before jumping into a sale:
- Under or Overestimating your Timeshare’s Worth – Don’t know how much your timeshare is worth? Get a free market survey or contact a licensed broker to find out how much your timeshare is worth and price accordingly.
- Forgetting to Check the BBB – Not sure if a resale company is BBB Accredited? Find out what the Better Business Bureau thinks about your potential reseller, and think twice about working with a company that isn’t listed or accredited.
- Being Afraid to Ask Questions – Too many sellers don’t ask important questions – like how a broker works to sell your timeshare, or what percentage commission they’ll make off the sale. The right brokerage company will take the time to make sure you understand the whole process.
So there you have it. Don’t fall victim to the number one mistake timeshare sellers make: never pay an upfront fee to sell your timeshare. Follow these simple suggestions, and choose a licensed broker for a safe, reliable resale experience.
Timeshare Broker Sales is a proud member of the Licensed Timeshare Resale Brokers Association. This morning, the Today Show recommended the LTRBA as a safe and reliable resource for selling your timeshare! Start the video at Minute 3:32 if you’re pressed for time.
LTRBA brokers are a trustworthy source of help for timeshare consumers. Buyers and Sellers can work with Licensed Resale Brokers who are matched to their needs. [LTRBA’s] “No Upfront Fees” policy ensures service and protects against fraud.
Always check your potential timeshare reseller against the LTRBA Member Directory. Check out our listing here!