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How to Sell Your Timeshare Safely Under the New European Timeshare Directive

March 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 188

Buying and selling timeshares can be a worrying thing for most, horror stories circulate and people get stung, lose money and think less of the industry as a whole. It doesn't have to be such a traumatic and damaging experience, the European Timeshare Directive coupled with a bit of savvy can make the whole experience a lot less painful.

February 2012 saw many European countries sign up to a new European Timeshare Directive, this initiative, spurred on by the European Commission, was to protect timeshare sellers and prospective buyers from a market that has a patchy history at best.

There have been many ways that individuals have been known to have been caught out, the main one being cold callers who claim to have a buyer for a timeshare that has not been advertised. From here on the "phantom buyer" is produced. This is a buyer who rouge companies always seem to have, one that wants to buy any weeks at any resort almost for any price.

For someone who is concerned about the financial difficulties the timeshare and holiday industries are in, an offer which is as juicy and appealing as this may actually be too much to turn down. Although having spoken to people to have found themselves in exactly this position, it doesn't very often end well. In the best instances you may end up making the sale but being lumped with expensive fees that weren't made clear at the beginning or worse, the company simple disappear with your money, never to be seen again.

Activities like this are more often than not, illegal and should be avoided at all costs. More and more is being done to help clean up the reputation and protect current owners and potential customers from rogue traders, and the introduction of the European Directive is the next step.

The Directive ensures that timeshare traders must provide detailed information to consumers in good time before they are bound contractually to the purchase or sale of any timeshare. In addition the price to be paid should be made clear in the contract and they have a 14 day "cooling-off" period where customers can withdraw from the agreement - and be informed of this by the trader.

There is much to take away from the European Timeshare Directive in addition to what I've mentioned, but the following clause is considered by many different sources as being the most crucial one in terms of selling and being protected.

"The prohibition on advance payments to traders or any third party before the end of the withdrawal period should be clarified in order to improve consumer protection. For resale contracts, the prohibition of advance payment should apply until the actual sale takes place or the resale contract is terminated."

Of course the law is slowly changing to ensure that the punishments for those ensnaring timeshare owners or potential customers in bogus or over-priced deals is more severe, but it will take time for things to clear up completely. As within real estate, used car sales and insurance industries there is a lot you can to do ensure that you protect yourself as well. Here are some basic things you should research first:

  • Does the company have a website? Anyone can have a website I know, but you can learn a lot about a company by their online presence. Reputable traders should have legitimate connections to other businesses and regulatory bodies and should ideally be visible on Google or other search engines.
  • What do other people say about them? Word of mouth can be a powerful thing, not everything you hear may be true, but it's often worth asking/searching around to see what the general opinion is.
  • Check the establish industry bodies, is your company listed there? In UK Timeshare resales TATOC and RDO should be checked out for more information. A good company should be registered or affiliated with at least one of them as it means they're governed more strictly and must adhere to rules set out for them.
  • Ask the resort. Most resorts will be able to advise you if you're looking to sell your Timeshare and give recommendations on the resellers who they deal with more frequently. You can remove a lot of doubt by learning as much you can about the company first.

As more rules and regulations fall into place and the less reputable resellers start to drop it becomes clear that you can buy and sell timeshares in safety, you just need to use your common sense and not jump into anything without thinking it through and doing your research first.

James Howson is a timeshare and travel expert with over a decade of experience reviewing top resorts. He owns several timeshare properties and can offer expert advice to those who may wish to sell timeshares safely.

Source: EzineArticles
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