Information for Property Owners

An increasing number of timeshare owners are being aggressively solicited by phone and direct mail to list their timeshare for sale. We are in no way trying to discourage you from using timeshare resale companies. We simply would like for our owners to be aware of problems that have occurred to other timeshare owners.

How to Protect Yourself: Timeshare Sales & Resales Source: The Florida Attorney General’s Office

Vacation timeshares give you the right to use a vacation home for a limited, pre-planned period. Timeshare scams occur both on the front-end, the time of the original purchase, and at the back-end, when you try to resell the timeshare. Victims of timeshare sales companies are contacted either over the phone or are mailed a postcard asking the victim to call a toll-free phone number. Before you decide to either purchase or resell a timeshare, consider the following:

Be Wary Of The Hard Sales Pitch
When it comes to purchasing a new timeshare, the salesman may try to give you the impression that the papers have to be signed that same day. Remember that you always have the right to leave the sales office, and come back later. Read your contract to determine what cancellation rights you have after you have signed the papers. Before buying a timeshare, you should consider whether you will want to return to the same vacation spot each year. Remember that once you buy it, you may not be able to sell it due to a depressed resale market.

Be Wary Of Too-Good-To-Be-True Claims When It Comes To Resales
The company’s salespeople are likely to claim that the market in the area where your resort is located is “hot” and that they are being overwhelmed with buyer requests for your resort. In some cases, the salespeople may even tell you that they have a buyer waiting in the wings who wants to buy your timeshare. Be skeptical of these types of claims. Remember the timeshare market is not “hot” and it is unlikely that there is a buyer ready and willing to buy your timeshare.

Question Why You Have To Pay The Fee Up Front
Most resale companies require you to pay a $300-500 advance listing fee, before the sale of your timeshare can take place. In a typical real estate transaction the fee is paid from the proceeds of the sale, at the time of the sale. You may want to opt for a company which will wait for its fee until the sale goes through. You should also find out if the salespeople are licensed real estate brokers, and, contact the licensing agency in the state where the company is located to determine if their license is valid, and whether there are any complaints lodged against the broker.

Consider Other Options When It Comes To Resale
You may want to try selling your timeshare “by owner”, by placing an advertisement in a newsletter or magazine read by potential timeshare buyers. Or you may want to list your timeshare with a licensed real estate broker in the area where your resort is located. As an alternative, you could contract with a company which allows you to exchange your timeshare for a unit in a different area.

Additional Information
You may contact the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums, and Mobile Homes, Bureau of Timeshares at (850) 488-1122 for additional information.

Needless to say, our company strongly condemns this type of activity, as does the industry as a whole. As owners become more aware, scam artists change the way they scam. They are always coming up with new ways to take your money, however, we are still confident that awareness is the best protection for our owners and we urge you to take the following precaution to guard against these “resale” activities:

  • DO NOT agree to anything over the phone. Never give up the rights to your timeshare for any purpose. Never give your credit card number, bank account number or copy of your deed to anyone until you’ve had a chance to check out the company. Once your money is sent to one of these resale companies, it is almost impossible to get it back. These companies do business in one area until the complaints get heavy, then they simply change the name of their company and start over somewhere else.
  • Beware of any solicitations that offer unrealistic promises concerning price or resale turn-around. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be certain the resale company you are dealing with is a licensed broker. Ask for the name of the company and in what state the company does business, and then call the Better Business Bureau in that state to see if complaints have been lodged against the company.
  • Be wary of large up-front listing fees or any company charging an advance “listing” fee or “appraisal” fee. Consider opting for companies that offer to sell for a fee after the timeshare is sold.
  • Ask them to send you written materials to study before making a decision. Have your attorney review the material.
  • Make certain you understand all of the terms and conditions before signing a contract.
  • Be sure the company who will be transferring your timeshare property prepares the proper paperwork. A new deed that is signed and notarized by the owner is the only way to transfer your property. An agreement to purchase, contract or bill of sale will not suffice in legally transferring the property. The property remains in the owner’s name until the new deed is recorded at the appropriate courthouse and a copy is forwarded to us after recording. Please insist on a copy of the new recorded deed for your records.
  • Do not allow your billing address to be changed to the “buyer’s” or “resale company’s” address until the appropriate paperwork is filed and the account name is changed. Continuing to receive statements and reminders may be your only way of knowing if the paperwork was completed.

By providing this information to our owners, it is our hope to help you guard yourself against an unfortunate situation and, as always, we hope you will call upon us for any assistance we can provide in helping you and your family make the most of your vacations.

CONDOMINIUM INSURANCE INFORMATION

Scam Alerts & Updates

Timeshare scammer sentenced 15+ years

11-05-10

10-07-10

 

 

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