Selling Timeshare: It’s Already Sold? Not Likely

February 15th, 2010

A new type of timeshare company seems to have grown out of the current recession, one no doubt both inspired by, and fueled by, economic desperation: the “It’s Already Sold” cold-calling scheme.

It's Already Sold... Would you believe this guy?

Sadly, these operations often disguise themselves as actual timeshare resale companies; sullying the entire industry’s reputation. If you have yet to encounter these ruffians, let me summarize the essence of the con:

I’m calling about your xyz timeshare because we’re working with a family that’s interested in buying it. They’re willing to pay [insert inflated sale price here] and they’re ready to close immediately. All we need is for you to pay the closings costs/title insurance expenses that come to $1,999+. We can take care of that today via check/credit card, and get things wrapped up in about a month.

Despite the many logical flaws in this pitch, thousands of timeshare owners seem to be falling for it. Of course, the sale never materializes, and the company soon vanishes, along with the money. Most significantly perhaps, is that yet another timeshare owner becomes convinced that timeshare resale is a scam – something they often broadcast at full volume in chat rooms, and elsewhere, making it that much harder for legitimate timeshare resale companies to sell timeshare.

Generally, I try to keep this blog positive, but it’s clear that if timeshare owners continue to fall for these schemes, the “Nanny State” will intervene to protect them, and regulate the industry into oblivion (see previous post on regulation.) That said, let me explain 2 reasons why “It’s Already Sold” can never, ever, be true:

1. The Closing Process – With few exceptions, the buyer pays the closing costs of a timeshare transaction, and the buyer would decide whether or not to purchase title insurance, and if so would pay for it. In the event a seller has agreed to pay closing costs, these would be deducted from escrow at time of closing. Any exceptions with regard to handling of funds would violate basic real estate laws throughout the U.S.

2. Your Ownership Details Are Not Public Information – Even if you have a deeded timeshare, the information on that deed does not reflect the full details of your ownership. For instance, a deed may have a unit number, but not the size of the unit, or vice versa. Additionally, owners often upgrade, and available public records are often outdated. The only way for anyone to know for sure exactly what you own would be to confirm that information with the resort –  your resort will not be confirming that information with outside parties! So, if it’s not possible for a buyer to know exactly what you own, how could they know they want to buy it?

Well-intentioned timeshare resale companies are in business to assist you in finding a buyer. It’s a process: sales rarely happen overnight. When you connect with a buyer for your timeshare, they are sure to have questions for you. Once there’s a “meeting of the minds” you can move forward with closing – using a title company, in a safe and orderly transaction. Rest assured, you can sell your timeshare, people sell timeshares every day, but it won’t be at a hyper-inflated price, and it won’t happen overnight. In closing, remember the best response to “It’s Already Sold” is hanging up your phone.

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Entry Filed under: Perceptions,Resale Market,Sell Timeshare

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Gina Harper  |  February 16th, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    These are words to live by. If you own a vacation property, PAY ATTENTION!

  • 2. Are Timeshare Owners Dumm&hellip  |  May 24th, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    […] have one focus: selling listings. Occasionally, these companies use outright fraudulent “It’s Already Sold” techniques, but more often this type of timeshare resale company will promise to expose your […]

  • 3. Timeshare Resales: An Hon&hellip  |  January 20th, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    […] with the common ground: timeshare owners should not pay a company that calls and tells them the timeshare is already sold, relief companies (or postcard companies) are poisonous to resale values, and timeshare owners […]

  • 4. Orlando Timeshare Scams E&hellip  |  February 16th, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    […] one year ago, this blog warned of a timeshare scam designed to convince owners that their properties were ‘already sold.’ Of course, to […]

  • 5. Cody WifKinson Carsuteldo  |  January 19th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    A whole industry has grown out of the desire to own things with a sense of history, perhaps inspired by the denim industry from the late 70s .

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