3 Discover The Question That Could Save you $5,000

Timeshares are difficult to sell.  Many aren’t worth more than $500 in a buyer’s market.  It’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

This one simple question will quickly identify friend and foe. 

A search for timeshare resales will yield results for marketing companies, exit companies, liquidators, cancellation attorneys, entities appearing to be charities, transfer companies and resale brokers.

Don’t be deceived.  All of these are likely to charge a large upfront fee of about $3,000.  Many will allow you to think they’ve got a buyer waiting in the wings at a high price.  Others will promise to transfer the timeshare out of your name.  Some will promise to break the contract with the developer.  Many will appear to be successful, having the funds to pay for advertising to be at the top of the page.  Or having good reviews.  Or citing statistics that can be misleading like page views, number of visitors etc.

The magic question that could save you thousands is,

“Are all the fees I pay taken from the proceeds of a closed sale?” 

If the answer is anything other than an unequivocal “YES” such as:  “No… All fees except…Most…Everything but”, you should exit the conversation as fast as you can.  Any upfront fee is a red flag that your timeshare may not sell for more than $500.  Anyone who is paid a fee upfront, has no incentive to sell your timeshare, or price it correctly in a buyer’s market.

A bad faith actor may give you the answer you’re looking for, and only when a high priced buyer pops into the picture is when you’ll learn there is a fee before closing.  Don’t forget, never pay a large fee that doesn’t come from the proceeds of a closed sale.  Odds are, that buyer that popped into the picture will disappear once your money is sent in.

Bonus Magic Question is,

“In what state are you a real estate licensee?” 

It is very likely the person you’re speaking with is unlicensed, and therefore cannot give pricing advice or solicit your real estate listing.  There is no state known at this time that allows unlicensed assistants (telemarketers etc) to give pricing advice.  New Hampshire allows unlicensed assistants to, “Give general information about listed properties such as… price (without any solicitation on behalf of the assistant)”.  A NH telemarketer may quote you unrealistically high pricing mistakes others have made.  Don’t be fooled.  These seller’s were charged an upfront fee only to pay year after year of maintenance fees while hoping the overpriced timeshare would sell.  Only a licensed timeshare resale broker who gets fully paid from the sales proceeds should be relied upon for pricing advice.  Don’t make the mistake of listing your timeshare based on the over-inflated pricing mistakes others make in a buyer’s market.

Bottom line?  Proceed with caution.  A broker who over-prices listings, won’t stay in business long if they get fully paid from the proceeds of a closed sale.  You can trust their pricing opinions.