How To Spot The Timeshare Fraudsters

Published on 11/15/2011 in Buying Process

Timeshare salesmen and agents have been sleazing their way across the hotspots of Spain for numerous years, using high pressure sales techniques to bully unwitting holidaymakers into purchasing something that they were never really entirely sure about in the first place.

However, now a new blight is causing current timeshare holders an even greater headache. Trying to locate a legitimate timeshare resales company on the internet is like attempting to find the proverbial needle in a haystack. Here are some things to look out for when buying and selling timeshare to keep the fraudsters at bay.

Buying timeshare

For those who understand the timeshare market and are comfortable with the financial commitment, there is still a great combination of value and luxury to be had by making the right purchases. However, like any financial investment, this should be done in your own sweet time.

If they approach you, it’s a no go

It doesn’t matter how the company say they got your details, if you haven’t dealt with them before then now is not a good time to take a chance.

Search online or by brochure

Reputable companies will have at least some of their listings available online or by brochure. This way you can work out what is available and at what cost without having to talk to a salesman or woman.

Check their name

Always do your homework on a company before doing business with them. A good way of checking their reputation is to search the discussion and forum results on Google for feedback on the company’s services.

SalesmanTell them precisely what you are interested in

When you make your first enquiry, be sure that you know what you are looking for. Do not give them an opportunity to force a timeshare on you that you’re not interested in. If they make you a proposal, be firm in stating that you will get back to them rather than vice versa. Make sure that their conveyancing fees are detailed in full and explain that you will not pay a penny more than what you have just been quoted.

Never part with your details until deeds are in your possession

Once you settle on a deal, be sure to cover yourself against fraud. Never part with cash until you have received official documentation and always have a lawyer check the paperwork over. If you must give your details to the agent before completion, a credit card is the best bet.

Selling timeshare

This is where things have started to get really ugly in recent years. With the recession resulting in people tightening their belts, many saw selling on their timeshare as a wise move to generate some extra cash. This desperation has been fully capitalised on by faceless fraudsters who will scam hundreds of pounds from timeshare owners in listing fees and facilitation costs. Make sure you’re not caught out.

Consider the sale

Talk to other people who own timeshares and communicate on the independent Timesharetalk forum. Is there actually a market for your timeshare? If other people are having difficulties selling similar timeshare weeks or points then the listing fee charged by timeshare resales companies may not be worth it.

Understand the value of your timeshare

There is precious little chance that your timeshare has appreciated in value and if a timeshare agent tells you they can sell it for more than face value, they are probably lying in a bid to get you to list with them. Don’t get reeled in, as if you agree your timeshare could sell for a sizeable figure, the agent will have greater scope with which to charge you a hugely over-inflated listing fee.

Take time to think

If you tell an agent you would like time to consider whether to sell with their company, make sure you follow through and end the call. Dishonest companies will at this point start to offer you lower rates, tell you that a buyer is waiting or declare that there is an important deadline coming up that you may miss. If they do any of the above then you’ll know not to call back.

Check their advertising

Take a thorough look at the website of the company you intend to sell through. Are they properly showcasing available timeshares? If you don’t feel your timeshare will receive sufficient advertising then look elsewhere.

Pay once only and don’t pay over the odds

You should only ever pay one listing fee and it should never be more than you expect to receive for your timeshare. Compare the quoted price with other timeshare holders on Timesharetalk.

Be prepared to wait

Even the most reputable timeshare resales companies may have trouble shifting your timeshare as the market is not as strong as it once was. However, they should keep you updated on any progress and should never ask you for more money. A timeshare in Spain can be difficult to shift but if you list with reputable, long-standing companies that are accredited members of the RDO (formerly the OTE), TATOC and ARDA then you will give yourself the best chance of moving it on. It pays to do your research when it comes to timeshare sales, so be careful out there!

Written by: Nick Woolnough

About the author:

Nick writes about timeshare buying advice.

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