FTCs Consumer Alert about Selling a Timeshare

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission’s released a Consumer Alert entitled “Selling a Timeshare through a Reseller: Contract Caveats.” This is very important for those who are trying to get out of their timeshares through a reseller. As we all know, there are several scams these days involving timeshare resales.

The Federal Trade Commission is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy. It pursues vigorous and effective law enforcement, and advances consumers’ interests by sharing its expertise with federal and state legislatures and US and international government agencies.

Meanwhile, a reseller is a real estate broker or agent specializing in reselling timeshares. The FTC strongly cautions the consumers to check out resellers and to deal only with licensed brokers and agents. To avoid scams, it is also appropriate to ask resellers for references of satisfied clients and to ask that any oral representations by salespeople be put in writing.

On the other hand, the FTC suggests that consumers should ask the resellers how they intend to advertise and promote the timeshare unit. It is always better to do business with a reseller that takes its fee after the timeshare is sold. If you must pay a fee in advance, you should clear out the refund policies.

Moreover, the FTC reminds the consumers that it is a mistake to assume you’ll recoup your purchase price for your vacation property especially if you’ve owned it for less than five years and the location is less than well-known. You may also consider using a licensed timeshare appraisal service if you are interested in establishing value. More importantly, before signing any contract with a reseller, do the due diligence and get all terms and conditions in writing.

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