Timeshare Resale Troubles
June 15, 2016
Some Arkansans may have previously decided to invest in a timeshare. They had been sold on a guaranteed vacation location, upscale lodging accommodations and the ability to exchange shares for other properties. But now they may be strapped by expensive annual maintenance fees, difficulty exchanging weeks and locations and finding that the property value they assumed would remain steady or even increase has remained the same or decreased.
A timeshare is a type of property in which an owner buys the right to use it for a designated period of time. Timeshares are most often condominium units at a popular destination and usually have a number of “owners.”
After timeshares gained popularity in the 1970s and 1980s, the market was overdeveloped, resulting in a flood of properties that now have depressed values, which has made resale difficult.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert to encourage Arkansans considering selling their share of a timeshare to do research to find a reputable seller.
“Sales people often pressure consumers into purchasing a timeshare, and the decision is often an emotional and impulsive one,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Later, some consumers decide to sell their ‘ownership’ but can run into difficulties finding a buyer. They then turn to one of the many companies offering to help resell, but Arkansans need to make sure they are dealing with a reputable seller.”
Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips for Arkansans looking to resell their timeshare:
- Beware of timeshare resellers who contact you unsolicited with a promise to resell your timeshare.
- If they say they have willing buyers, it is probably a lie.
- Never pay a substantial advance fee for resale assistance. A reputable seller will charge a commission paid only upon sale, like a normal real estate transaction. An advance fee may be called a “marketing fee,” a “listing fee,” an “internet advertising fee” or other related fee.
- Get an independent appraisal from a licensed appraiser before agreeing on any resale assistance contract.
- Deal only with licensed agents.
Unfortunately, a number of operations exist that try to take advantage of “owners” desperation to sell. They offer assistance with selling the timeshare and relief from the burden of the continuing costs of ownership. They often collect hundreds or thousands of dollars in so-called “deed transfer” or “marketing” fees but never complete the sale.
For more information about traveling and other consumer-related issues or to file a consumer complaint, contact the Attorney General's office at (800) 482-8982 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.