A lot of owners continue enjoying their timeshare, that’s why the industry continues to grow. A lot of timeshare sales are not from new buyers; they actually come from existing timeshare owners. This indicates that there are a lot of satisfied timeshare users.
There comes a time though when owners can no longer hold on to their timeshare and have no choice but to give up the lifestyle. Financial circumstances may change, and they can no longer afford to keep their timeshare. Sometimes, children move out of the family home making family vacations few and far between. Declining health may also be a reason to let go of the timeshare. Whatever the reason may be, there are ways to exit timeshare properly.
Timeshare owners usually sell in the secondary market. Selling at a reduced cost is a bitter pill they must swallow because timeshare is an investment that depreciates. Donating the timeshare is also another option. Holding on to it unnecessarily is expensive because even if it’s unused, the maintenance fees and other fees must be paid annually.
There are owners who resort to getting the services of an exit company or relief company to take out from them the headache of selling their timeshare. Before hiring one, here are some pointers worth considering. These are from the study issued by the BBB (Better Business Bureau) of Eastern and Southwest Missouri and Southern Illinois.
In the June 2019 study, it was discovered that more than 400 timeshare owners believe they were scammed by third-party exit companies. The general complaint is they were asked to pony up large upfront fees for services that were not delivered. The upfront fees ranged from $1,000 to more than $30,000.
The timeshare industry has over nine million owners. It generates over 540,000 jobs and $10.8 billion in taxes in the US. As such, it has become a target for unscrupulous companies. Because of this, timeshare companies want to educate the owners on how to exit timeshare safely.
Here are the red flags to watch out for:
- Scammers usually call you up or send emails claiming that they have an “interested buyer”.
- They claim that they are from the Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council (ATHOC). Note that ATHOC does not initiate calls, emails or any other type of communication. They only talk to timeshare owners when the latter initiates contact.
- They ask for an upfront fee with a promise to modify, cancel or transfer the timeshare’s ownership.
- They claim that a sale or transfer is about to be completed provided you wire some money for “tax” or other “requirement” to finalize said sale or transfer.
- If their promise sounds too good to be true, chances are it is.
If you have been victimised by these unsavoury companies, you may get help from your state’s Office of Fair Trading or Department of Consumer Affairs.