HOW TO SELL
If your property is not listed above... placeholder :)
If we can't help you sell your timeshare we'll try to help you find someone who can, but we caution you to be VERY careful as you seek assistance. For over 30 years, we’ve advised sellers not to pay a fee in advance to put a timeshare up for sale. A company that asks you for money before they’ve sold your property is more interested in selling you an ad than making a sale. They'll promise a fast sale at a high price because every listing they can obtain is money in the bank. Unless they are licensed real estate brokers, they can't assist you with a transaction at all!
Realistically, timeshares sell on the resale market for much less than the price a developer can obtain. That makes any seller with an urgent need to dispose of a timeshare easy prey for the unscrupulous.
Legitimate timeshare resale brokers are professionally licensed real estate agents who will never ask you to pay for services in advance - for any reason! Just as you would never do with your home, we recommend you do not pay an upfront fee, including a “refundable” fee, to advertise, list, appraise, market, open escrow, or even to sell your timeshare.
Here's the low down on some of the "come-ons" to watch out for... Advertising companies that offer to sell your property with no commission, just an upfront fee to advertise, are advertising companies with no legal authority to negotiate a sale on your behalf. They cannot write a contract or assist in any way with the mechanics of selling your timeshare.
Don't believe the magician who tells you they can sell your timeshare for thousands of dollars above market price! They claim to have a "secret source" of corporate buyers from around the world eager to pay top dollar to buy your timeshare for corporate executives. The truth is, we we all reach the same market. Give those buyers some credit - they are going to shop around, and are going to pay the least amount possible for the ownership they want to purchase. It's common sense...like selling your home, you can't sell for more than the price of comparable property currently listed on the market.
Also beware of "investment trusts" that offer to purchase your timeshare at its appraised value. These companies claim they do not perform appraisals, but they require you to obtain one. Can you use an appraiser you find in the yellow pages? No! You probably can't even use an appraiser in the town where your resort is located. You have to use an appraiser approved by the "investment trust" who they will have contact you. We have many clients who have paid hundreds of dollars for an appraisal only to be offered 10% of the appraised value by these groups IF the property sells.
And NEVER, EVER, EVER pay a company money to "get rid of" your timeshare without talking to us first!!! There are a lot of scams out there, but this one takes the cake! There are many companies currently making the rounds in Arizona and many other states. You are invited by mail to a presentation at which they are supposedly going to make an "offer" on your timeshare or provide you with a guaranteed "exit strategy". After listening to their spiel about there being no way to sell a timeshare, no way to end your obligation to pay maintenance fees without losing your house, and instilling the fear that you are going to pass on the obligation to your children to pay maintenance fees FOREVER, their "offer" is that this company will let you transfer title to them provided YOU pay THEM the paltry sum of $2,495 or more. People, if you have been invited to a presentation like this and are actually willing to pay someone take your timeshare off your hands, please call us! You've been targeted because you own at least one timeshare that has some resale value. There are better solutions, and we'll be glad to share them with you.
The newest and most unsavory scam yet is one wherein various companies working out of temporary locations (mostly in Florida) contact you saying they have a buyer for your timeshare. They say the buyer is willing to pay a large amount of money ($5,000 - $20,000 is typical) for your timeshare. They even provide a name and phone number for that "buyer", who is actually someone working for them. They use cell phones with numbers from all across the US so that they appear to be from various locations around the country. You'll be asked to send them $500 - $2,400 or more as a security deposit or to open escrow or for other bogus reasons. Once again... NEVER send anyone any upfront money!
Over the years we have talked with thousands of sellers who have been victimized by unscrupulous "timeshare resale" companies. Many of these sellers are already dealing with difficult situations...major illness, loss of a job, and loss of a partner through divorce or death. We think taking advantage of people when they are most vulnerable is just plain wrong. It is, however, very lucrative. Call us hopelessly old-fashioned, but we still believe that providing a valuable service at a reasonable cost is the only way to earn a living.
The bottom line is this... With SmartChoice, you pay us NOTHING unless we successfully sell your timeshare and legally transfer the ownership out of your name, and you pay only at the close of escrow. Plus, you always reserve the right to sell your timeshare on your own and pay absolutely no commissions or other fees to SmartChoice. If you find a buyer on your own and need help preparing a contract or finding an escrow company, we can assist you with just those functions.
And finally, be sure to check the Better Business Bureau ratings and Department of Real Estate records for any company you're considering working with. You'll be amazed at how many complaints exist for companies that are contacting owners about selling their timeshares. Look for a company that is complaint-free, has an A+ rating, and who has been in business for more than two years. It's a common practice to tout a high rating with BBB to evoke trust, but it's not uncommon for some of the scoundrels out there to shut down their operation when ratings start to fall, only to re-open under a new name with a clean slate.
Look closely at their websites as well, especially the "About Us" and "Contact Us" pages. Their "About Us" page should be more than some pretty words about how wonderful they are. Look for names of individual agents including their broker's name, their license credentials, and relevant information about their industry experience. Their "Contact Us" page should include more than a form for you to fill out and submit.