The Phony Timeline: Classic Timeshare Resales Scam

The Phony Timeline: Classic Timeshare Resales Scam

Unethical timeshare sales practices often include a spurious guarantee that a timeshare will sell within a specific time period.

Recently I received an email from a timeshare owner asking me for advice. It seems this gentleman bought a timeshare several years ago, but became unable to use it every year because of family obligations. He approached an online timeshare resale company to see if they could help him sell his timeshare. Shortly thereafter, he got a call from a sales rep, who assured him that the *** company could sell his timeshare by Labor Day. Pleased by this news, he immediately enlisted the services of the *** company.

It’s the day after Labor Day, and he hasn’t gotten a single offer on his property yet. This timeshare owner now contemplates seeking legal advice to help extricate him from this debacle.

I am not an attorney, so I won’t discuss the finer points of the contract in question. What I will say is that no-one can predict when a timeshare resale will sell. Any company making this prediction is using antiquated, deceptive tactics.

It is surprising to note that a number of successful and high-profile timeshare resale companies still promise an attractive timeline to a prospective advertiser. This is an old leftover ploy from the early days of the timeshare resort industry, when fraud was rampant. What is even more surprising is that people believe these wild claims. When it comes to determining how long it will take for a timeshare to sell, a phony timeline is about as helpful as a newspaper horoscope. Always remember, even if you choose the best timeshare resale company in the world, there’s still no way for anyone to know when your property will sell.

Here’s the bottom line: don’t believe the hype! A fast timeshare sale depends on two things: pricing and promotion. A seller has to be sure that his or her timeshare is priced lower than other similar properties. However, this by itself does not guarantee exposure on an effective scale. It is important to choose a timeshare resale company capable of promoting a property before the greatest possible number of potential buyers.

Timeshare Resales After Katrina

Timeshare Resales After Katrina

In the wake of the biggest disaster in recent memory, the timeshare industry confronts challenges, but also affords timeshare resale opportunities.

Flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina in the New Orleans area is visible from Air Force One Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005 as President Bush returned to Washington from Crawford Texas.

Four days after hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, the situation along the Gulf Coast of the United States is particularly dire. The city of New Orleans may never recover fully from this disaster. The long-term economic implications are still being calculated, and widespread repercussions are already being felt. Most shocking of all is the loss of human life on such a massive scale, and the horrifying ordeals faced by those still trying to survive in this city. Anyone reading this is encouraged to help relief efforts by any means necessary.

In lodging and hospitality industry news, Marriott International Inc. was arguably the first hotel company to respond to this tragedy. Marriott had temporarily shut down about 20 hotels in Louisiana and Alabama. In interviews, spokesman John Wolf described no severe structural damages to Marriott properties in affected areas.

Other hotel chains have yet to provide information about damages. We all remember the terrifying stories and photos of the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, which was slammed by both high winds and flying debris.

Most feel that Katrina has been the latest installment in what is clearly an abnormally destructive hurricane season. Clearly, many people are having second thoughts about owning property in an area vulnerable to hurricanes, even if these areas are prime resort destinations, like Central Florida.

Normally, after an area has been hit hard by a hurricane, it undergoes a period of redevelopment. Timeshare resort developments are no different: the affected area can undergo dramatic renovations and upgrades in the weeks and months following a hurricane. Consequently, with upgraded amenites, remodeled resorts are able to sell new timeshares for higher prices, and charge higher fees on existing ones.

Immediately after a major hurricane strikes a high-demand resort area, the timeshare resale market typically sees a dramatic influx of timeshares for sale. If these units are located in a resort damaged by a large storm, the timeshares in question cannot be assumed to be structurally sound. Timeshare owners often advertise storm-damaged properties for as little as $50.00/week. Sometimes owners can be less than forthcoming about the condition that their properties are in, so due diligence is a must when purchasing a timeshare resale under these circumstances.

Buying timeshare resales at a storm-damaged resort facility is largely contingent upon whether or not the resort plans on redeveloping the property. The idea is to buy a unit at a minimal cost while demand is still low, obtaining it before timeshare sale prices rise. Please keep in mind that some resorts are still rebuilding after the 2004 hurricane season, which caused widespread damages all over Florida.

What many people don’t realize is that hidden costs can materialize out of thin air. Rising property taxes are a likely consequence of a natural disaster. The maintenance fees at the new resort will be higher than they were previously, and the resort company may even assess special fees to cover hurricane damages. Typically, a special hurricane assessment can cost owners $800.00 – $1200.00. Still, if a timeshare cost $50.00 initially, the average timeshare owner can absorb the rising costs and still save thousands of dollars off the original price asked by the resort for the unit in question, just by buying a timeshare resale at minimal cost.

In this manner, many timeshare buyers try to take advantage of the opportunities on the resale market. If you plan on buying damaged property at bargain prices, make sure you know exactly what you are getting into before you sign a contract!

Seven Important Considerations When Buying Timeshare on the Resale Market

Seven Important Considerations When Buying Timeshare on the Resale Market

Be sure to know all the facts before buying resale timeshares.

(Whereas the following information is geared toward those buying timeshare on the resale market, anyone selling timeshares should pay attention. If you plan on selling your timeshare, know that smart buyers will ask questions along the lines of the information presented below. I would encourage anyone selling timeshare to answer questions candidly and honestly.)

While it is true that timeshare resales cost much less than timeshare bought directly from a resort developer, you still need to make sure you’re getting what you want out of the deal when buying a resale timeshare. 

Here are some important points for timeshare buyers to consider:

1. One of the first questions that we ask to a prospective advertiser is whether or not the maintenance fees and property taxes have been paid up-to-date. The answer to this question could mean a difference of several thousand dollars in the total cost to the timeshare buyer. Make sure you know the whole cost before you buy.

2. As we all know, buying anything sight-unseen can sometimes bring unexpected results. For this reason, some timeshare owners like to see the actual timeshare unit in person before they sign paperwork.

3. For timeshares that are affiliated with an exchange company, find out if this membership can be transferred. This may save you a lot of hassles later on. This applies to points-system timesharing too. Find out if these points are transferable! Also, be sure that the bonus weeks or any other extras included in the purchase price of your resale timeshare can be transferred.

4. Find out the reason why the timeshare is being sold. This is an important consideration for any buyer.

5. Often, the seller pays to advertise the property while the buyer pays the closing costs. Find out what charges you will be responsible for when the sale closes.

6. Some timeshare units are inevitably located in a facility that has been partially remodeled. Make sure you’re not paying a new-unit price for an old, beat-up timeshare.

7. Has the timeshare been used this year? This is especially important when dealing with an odd-or even-year-use timeshare. It might be two years before you can actually use your timeshare. In the case of right-to-use timeshares, the lease on such property is usually only good for a certain number of years. Be sure to find out how much time is left on the lease.

I hope that those considering a timeshare purchase would ponder these seven points. These timeshare tips could save a lot of grief in the long run.

The Florida Timeshare Resale Market: EXPLODING With Opportunities!

The Florida Timeshare Resale Market: EXPLODING With Opportunities!

With sellers pricing their property at or below current market value, Florida timeshare buyers save BIG!

Is it any surprise that Florida has more timeshare resorts than anywhere else in the world? A vibrant cultural atmosphere, miles upon miles of beaches, and exhilirating theme park attractions make for an unbelievable vacation getaway. In fact, most people are delighted to return to their Florida Timeshare year after year.

It seems that people really enjoy their timeshares! This sounds like speculation, until you visit the website of Resort Condominiums International, the world’s largest timeshare exchange company. According to RCI, the Community has 300,000 registered members, 9,000 new registrants per month, 80,000 visitors per week, and 85,000 vacation photos submitted by members. With numbers like this, it’s clear to anybody that the timeshare industry is growing with considerable rapidity. Right now, though, it’s a buyer’s market. This means that an impressive variety of Florida timeshare resales can be bought on the resale market for as little as 20 cents on the dollar, as compared with the resort’s original asking price! This is a COLLOSSAL SAVINGS! You can also rent Florida timeshares from the owner, and get more awesome amenities for your vacation budget.