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Selling My Timeshare - The Horror Story

March 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 232

You may have fallen in love with a certain timeshare club, but there comes a time when you will look to give up, sell or move away from your timeshare which poses the million dollar question "how can I sell my timeshare?"

This is a question which I'm always confronted by, and of course with these questions you also tend to hear various horror stories associated with timeshare sales. The stories you hear about false or scam resales companies are very real and thankfully enough, well documented. However, it is often this very fact that leads people away from resellers altogether. To one extend or another this practice can be phrased as out of the frying pan and into the fire, as you can often hit many issues lurking within private buying or selling of timeshares.

It is not unexpected to hear of friends or family members selling or handing over property to each other, which in theory isn't a bad idea, but you still have to remember a few key facts about the legal nature of timeshare ownership. The worse thing I've heard of, and not too long ago, is people going through private sellers, looking to bag what seem to be amazing, too-good-to-be-missed deal on places like ebay and craigslist and end up in a very sticky situation.

The issues in this part of timeshare ownership aren't huge initial fees or phantom buyers whose money never appears, no this is slightly different. The main problem is when paperwork and/or costs need to change hands to close a deal.

An mate I met years ago whilst travelling has recently got back in contact to ask my advice following a very nasty purchase (or at least what he thought was a purchase) of a timeshare property in the Gran Canaria. Settling on a deal was easy, finding the right club for the money is one of the easiest part now, with many ridiculous offers of 1 timeshares or thousands of points for next to nothing.

If you have ever had any dealings with buying a timeshare, selling timeshares or indeed, renting a timeshare, you'll probably be aware that this isn't the whole story - not at all. Those Club La Costa points or that week that will cost you the sum total of what's in your back pocket will almost certainly be combined with legal fees, administration payments and more, usually to the resort to change the owner on the paperwork. But you see, these fees, next to the cost of the timeshares or timeshare points, look far too high by comparison.

Legal fees are part of buying or selling timeshares, just as they are in real estate - it should be expected. Most people who have not encountered timeshares before will mostly likely be aware that there are some fees, but those who really get stung are those who are completely clueless to start with and then duped or lied too throughout the sale.

My friend, fortunately enough was aware of the extra costs, but like most, did'nt know how the process worked exactly. "Easy", the seller said, he was experienced and would handle the matter; all my friend had to do was hand over the paper work and the payment, easy. Seen where he went wrong? There was no "middle-man" or independent party to handle the process, the whole thing rested on blind faith that the seller be honest throughout the process.

Now, being a fairly optimistic person I know that you need to trust people from time to time, but at the end of the day you need to consider the cost. If you hadn't worked it out already the buyer walked off with the a significant sum of money belonging to my friend, and was never seen again.

Whilst the amount he paid was nothing like you'd expect from buying direct from a club, and the costs asked for didn't seem enough to cause too much alarm (a few hundred Dollars), the amount lost was still a blow, but ironically it was the small amount which caused him to ignore his better judgement and pay.

So what can he do now? Well unfortunately not a lot, getting in touch with TATOC or RDO is a good start; they can usually give advice on what to if you are caught out like this. Even if it is too late to do anything about it, it is always worth letting them know about such events as organisations like TATOC issue lists of trusted sellers or more importantly, known scammers, so it can help others in the future. Sadly, my friend was caught out and there was nothing that could be done, the seller left no working telephone number and the address was no longer occupied, so no way of find the seller.

The best thing to do, would be to use a trusted company with in house conveyancing services. Without getting caught up in the details a good conveyancing department will ensure that all paperwork is exchanged correctly, everything is settled and most importantly, store all money in an escrow account controlled by an independent solicitor. Money stored like this ensures that it is not going anywhere until the conditions of the sale are met.

The downside? Well, the only downside, if you can call it that is that it costs more money - how much can changed based on the resales company and what service is required (around 300). But if you want to be happy in the knowledge that your money is in safe hands and you are not going to get conned or robbed, not a large price to pay really.

So it is the usual advise really, do your best to ensure that companies involved is trusted, look to the industry bodies like TATOC, RDO and ARDA who can confirm this or help establish if you might be dealing with a less than reputable business. Whilst there are bargains to be had, especially when buying timeshare points, be careful about deals that look too good - you don't have to avoid them, just make sure you do your research ask the right questions, and if you cannot get a satisfactory answer, then perhaps it is time to look elsewhere.

James Howson is a timeshare and travel guru with over 10 years of experience in travel writing. Having owned timeshares he often helps those looking into buying timeshares and recently about Timeshare Conveyancing.

Source: EzineArticles
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