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Pitfalls of Timeshare Resellers
A timeshare can be an attractive way to obtain a vacation property without having to lay out the full cost of a piece of land or property, or to acquire a vacation plan at fixed costs. However, when you encounter financial difficulties a timeshare may be a luxury you find you can no longer afford. Additionally, timeshares can become a drain on your finances because of the annual fees and maintenance costs for something that you may infrequently use.
You may be considering using a reseller to sell your timeshare either for the cash or to eliminate a financial obligation from your budget. Using a reseller can be problematic, and the Federal Trade Commission recommends approaching these transactions with eyes wide open and a healthy dose of skepticism to avoid getting an unfavorable deal.
Selling a Timeshare Through a Reseller
A timeshare reseller is a real estate agent or broker who specializes in timeshare transactions. Sometimes they may come to you seeking to buy your timeshare and claiming they have buyers ready to snap up your vacation share.
However, the FTC warns that timeshare owners often are the target of reseller scams. The hallmark of a timeshare reseller scam is being asked to pay money up front for “fees” or “costs” based solely on the resellers claim that there’s interest in the market for timeshares like the one you want to sell. In a timeshare reseller scam, you may end up paying a significant amount of money to the reseller without seeing any results and only to learn in the end that there is no buyer.
The FTC suggests asking these questions before entering into any agreement with a timeshare reseller:
- What fees will I have to pay and when? If I have to pay in advance, are fees refundable if you can’t sell my timeshare?
- Can I have the details of the offer and refund policy in writing?
- Are you licensed to sell real estate in the state where my timeshare is located?
- How often will I get updates on my timeshare listing?
- How will you promote the listing?
The FTC offers these additional tips when you’re considering using a reseller to sell your timeshare:
- Check the reseller’s credentials and background by contacting the Attorney General’s office and consumer protection agencies in the reseller’s state to ask if there are any complaints. You can also contact the agency that licenses real estate agents and brokers to verify the reseller’s license.
- Get everything in writing.
- Be aware that if you’ve owned your timeshare for less than 5 years, you may not make your money back on the sale.
LHA Offers Ohio Consumer Advocacy
Certainly not all timeshare resellers are conducting business in an unsavory manner, but falling victim to a timeshare reseller scam could make a tight financial situation even worse. It’s definitely important to do your homework and make sure you’re getting a fair deal before you enter into any agreement to sell your timeshare.
Additionally, if you’re considering the sale of your timeshare because you’re experiencing debt or have encountered hard financial times, an Ohio debt lawyer may be able to help. At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we offer Ohio consumer advocacy that includes evaluating your debt and helping you with debt management.
We may be able to negotiate with your creditors to get you onto a more affordable payment schedule. Call attorney Jeremy Heck with Luftman, Heck and Associates today for a free consultation today at (888) 726-3181.