Timeshare resale fail

If you’re thinking of selling a timeshare, the FTC cautions you to question resellers — real estate brokers and agents who specialize in reselling timeshares. They may claim that the market in your area is “hot” and that they’re overwhelmed with buyer requests. Some may even say that they have buyers ready to purchase your timeshare, or promise to sell your timeshare within a specific time. All they need is an upfront fee to get the ball rolling. Well, hold onto your money and read on.

Today, the FTC is charging the operators of a timeshare reselling scheme with bilking at least $15 million from timeshare owners by charging upfront fees of as much as $2,500 — or more — with promises they would rent or sell the properties. As time passed, the defendants would ask owners for more money, claiming the sale was about to take place and even characterizing the additional fees as closing costs. When the promises weren’t kept, consumer requests for refunds were routinely denied or ignored. Not anymore. At the FTC’s request, a federal court has temporarily halted the operation while the FTC seeks to permanently stop the illegal practices and get money back for consumers.   

If you own a timeshare, question any offers to help you resell it. Be skeptical of companies that:

  • claim the market in your area is “hot” and that they’re “overwhelmed” with buyer requests
  • say they have buyers ready to purchase your timeshare — or promise to sell your timeshare within a specific time        
  • guarantee you’ll get big returns on your resale
  • require you to pay fees upfront — even if there’s the promise of a “money-back guarantee”
  • don’t provide a contract — or provide a contract that doesn’t accurately reflect conversations you had                                                   

                                                                                                                                      Timeshare Resale Scams Infographic

For more information, see buying and selling a timeshare, or check out our infographic to see how timeshare resale scams typically work.  

Tagged with: scam, travel
Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages


I have a timeshare and was called by a company that they would sale my property, but needed 2,500.00 to market the property. they said it would sale within the first 6 months if it didn't they would use their money to market. I haven't been able to speak with the guy that guy. Thank You, Dena

My parents were bilked out of 1000's of dollars from people saying they would sell their timeshares, but they had to pay up front. I kept Telling them no,tell them they get their money when the timeshares are sold, but they were convinced that the money had to be paid up front ZX so they did and they lost over and over, even dealt with a sheriff in Fla who was trying to catch the scammers!! Ha, so...seller beware!!!

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has failed, and continues to fail, to protect consumers, who currently own timeshare properties, from being able to sell or dispose them in the resale market, or wherever and however. The fact that owners of timeshare property are unable to, even, disposed of such properties, without burdening owners' heirs with inescapable liability, means that the FTC has and is shirking responsibility to protect the helpless consumers (owners of timeshare property) and to resolve this controversial market problem. I would like to see the FTC get directly involved in establishing a precedence of resolving this untenable market injustice.

It is a scam closing tactic that heirs will be burdened with the timeshare. No one can make an heir accept the timeshare..

I sell timeshares from the developer, and warn my owners to run from anyone asking for money up front. Bad news, that.

I don't own a time share. My ex mother n law does. I have heard many more variations of the same. Especially the one is all I had to do was run the title report. They must need help, because they call me. I'm a professional land consultant. The time share is a suite in a motel. They didn't know that. No title records exist for motel rooms. When disavowing ownership fails, I explain I only pay for results, not incentives. Then they resell the potential mooch list to some other sucker looking for another. Time shares in general should be investigated. U can't sell them period. Nor were they intended for resale. Just escalating maintenance fees that u can't sublet cheaper than a much nicer motel. I only had to take the calls. They are paricites that think if u were uninformed enough to buy one, u are susceptible for another good deal

Inherited a deeded timeshare from my father and would love to sell because of maintenance fees. Any advice on how to get rid of it? No one seems to be interested in buying through the management company and other than bankruptcy/foreclosure there doesn't seem to be other options.

we had two time shares with maintenance fees of about $800 annual, we hadn't paid much for them initially and had them for a few years. We sent emails to most of the people in our contact list to see if anyone wanted them, giving them away. Got lucky with one couple that were friends, and then an acquaintance found someone in her circle that wanted one. The latter couple sent us $500, which we hadn't asked for but it helped with the transfer fees which have to be paid when transferring title. Something to consider since you don't have a large initial investment to try to recoup. Put the word out, see what happens. Good luck!

I had one that I got scammed on reselling 3 times and then I found an actual realtor ho specialized in timeshares was able to sell it that way with no fees up front just like you sell a house.

Can you share the realtor you used? I bought a timeshare with my ex-wife and it's been an issue with her ever since the divorce.


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