6 KEY ways to avoid timeshare scams

Posted at 6:52 PM, Sep 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-21 21:52:39-04

Getting rid of a timeshare can be a scary process.

Can you sell it? Do you give it away? How do you know who to trust?

The situation gets even more confusing when you add fake resellers to the mix.

Many promise they have a buyer waiting and even give you a very high price they're willing to pay.

So you pay the resellers big upfront a fee and only there was no buyer at all.

Real estate broker Clark Rowley-Chaney says they find victims through public property records.

"They call you that's your first red flag," he says.

Many don't realize timeshares are real estate and legally have to be treated as such.

So Clark says the easiest way to avoid scammers is by seeking a licensed real estate broker who specialized in timeshare re-sales.

The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) has a list of them.

So does the Licensed Timeshare Resale Brokers Association (LTBRA).

Clark is the chair of ARDA Arizona and the president of LTBRA. He says none of the brokers in the group charge an upfront fee--a typical red flag for scam deals.
"They are licensed real estate brokers and you can feel very confident in trusting any one of those brokers," he says.

Look for a broker who is licensed in the state where your property is located and be sure check complaints or issues with their license.

It's the same concept you would use when buying a house. There should be a contract, an agreed upon price, and no one gets paid until the deal closes.

Some developers have an in-house program where owners can list their property or in rare occasions deed it back to the resort.

But you still want to sell it alone or give it to charity, do your homework and make sure all the paperwork transferred properly

"Ask questions, do you due diligence, basically educate yourself," Clark says.

See more tips on dropping your timeshare here.

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