10 ?Must Know? Tips for Buying a Timeshare
- Your time share is going to be a fun
and enjoyable experience. You’re going to have a blast with
it! All you have to do is pay attention to a few details BEFORE you
buy your time share. If you do, everything is going to go smoothly
and you’ll be a very happy time share owner. Our job is to
ensure a smooth transaction, and to gain a repeat customer. To date,
not one penny has been lost by any of our customers. To date, every
single buyer has gotten exactly what they expected, and sometimes
even more. Here’s our free advice on what to look for, and
especially what to look OUT for!
- Always, always have a licensed broker
involved. First, a licensed broker is bound by law to make sure the
buyer gets exactly what they’re supposed to get. Secondly,
the contract is written, by law, containing certain language that
protects your rights. There are also no “gray” areas
in the contract. Everything is spelled out in such a way that a twelve-year
old could read it and understand it. Without a broker, you have a “Buyer
Beware” situation in which you have little, if any, recourse
if something goes wrong. Lastly, it’s free! Normally the seller
pays the broker’s commission. You get a free ride!
- Understand that
this is a real estate transaction. Every state in the U.S. deems
timeshare transfers to be a nothing less, just like selling a home
or piece of land. This applies in all cases, whether the timeshare
is deeded or not and whether the timeshare is in the U.S. or not.
Would you buy any piece of real estate without having a real estate
agent or real estate attorney involved? Of course not. So why would
you buy a timeshare without the same benefit? Time shares can be
especially tricky in that they are a specialized type of transfer
requiring specialized knowledge. Most real estate agents and real
estate attorneys are not familiar with timeshares. Thus, dealing
with a real estate brokerage who handles NOTHING but time shares
- Understand what a title agency does, and what they don’t
do. First, they are NOT there to protect your rights or to point out
any potential problems. They are there for one reason only, to transfer
a title. If they are dealing with a buyer and seller directly, with
no broker involved, they have little incentive to stop a title transfer
if they see a problem. In fact, stopping the process could mean they’ve
done work for which they won’t be paid. When the transaction
involves a licensed broker, that broker normally sends them a LOT of
business each year. An honest broker will have an arrangement and understanding
with the title agent that anything that “pops up” is to
be brought to the broker’s attention immediately. The broker
can then contact the buyer and seller and work to fix any problems.
If the problem can’t be fixed, the deal can be terminated and
monies returned. With no broker involved, no one is there as the middle
man to help work out and solve any problem.
- Understand the difference between a licensed
Real Estate Brokerage, and an advertising company. There are thousands of timeshare web sites
on the internet. When you choose the timeshare you want to purchase,
make sure the company who advertised the timeshare is licensed as
a real estate brokerage. If not, they’re nothing more than a
glorified newspaper ad. Legally, they cannot get involved in the transaction,
do contracts or see the deal through to closing. Many, however, cross
the line and attempt to do a contract or push the paperwork to a title
agency. To this date, we’ve never seen a timeshare contract
written by an unlicensed company that was legal and protected all parties.
Granted, many buyers and sellers end up getting what they agreed to
simply because everyone was honest and above board, but many end up
getting burned. Once burned, you find there’s no one to turn
to for help. Short of trying to bring suit against someone whom you
never met and lives in another state, you’ll eat the problem;
which usually means you’ll shell out more money or not have anything
near what you thought you were buying.
- Can things go wrong? YES! Unfortunately, not
everyone is honest.
We get listing agreements from sellers everyday that we look at and
know they are fraudulent. We obviously turn them away, and they usually
end up on a “For Sale by Owner” web site (a web site run
by a company not licensed as a Real Estate Brokerage), waiting for
a sucker to come along who doesn’t know all the ins and outs
of timeshare transactions.
- Understand that by not using a licensed brokerage, your problems
may very well start AFTER the transaction is completed and the seller
has your money. Here’s just a very short sample of words you
never want to hear yourself say:
- “I never knew that a Quit Claim Deed gave me no rights
or guarantees. I now find out the seller didn’t even
own the property! Yet, I have a deed in my hand!”
- “The seller didn’t tell me that he had usage only
for every other year! I thought I could use the timeshare
- “The resort allowed the transfer to go through even
though the seller owed back maintenance fees! I’m now stuck
with a giant bill and can’t use the timeshare until it’s
- “My dear RCI (or II) representative, what do you mean
the old owner banked the weeks for the next two years and is using
them for their vacations?” (PS: you’ll also have to
pay the maintenance fees!)
- “Mr. Resort Representative, regarding the bill
you sent me for the special assessment. You’re telling me the old
owner knew it was coming and they didn’t tell me?!”
Now, that’s just a very short sampling. We could fill a book with
things you’ve never thought of that could go wrong in a transaction.
Just as some, or all, of these examples could easily have happened
to you with no licensed brokerage involved, there are literally at
least a hundred more we could go into.
- Scams abound.
We don’t live in the ‘50s anymore with the Cleaver family
(Leave It To Beaver show). Understanding
that time share transfers are full of ways to cheat a buyer, there
are actually businesses out there who make their living doing so. It is sad, but true. They’ll
rake in a few million dollars, then close up shop and open again
in another state under a different name. Again, make sure whomever
you are dealing with has a real estate license. A license is not
easy to get and the person applying for the license is scrutinized
by the state before they will hand out the license.
- ASK Questions, but know who to ask. Your
licensed real estate broker is trained not only in how to properly
handle the contract, closing and any problems, but we’re also
here to help you make the right decision. There are thousands of
timeshares to choose from. Not everyone is right for you. Talk to
us and tell us what you’d like to do with your timeshare.
We’ll give you our honest, professional advice. If we think
you’re about to make a mistake, we’ll tell you (the ultimate
decision, of course, is up to you). If you need suggestions, we’ll
make them and tell you why we think it’s the best one for you.
Talking directly to a seller may get your answers “polished” a
bit. They have only one timeshare to sell, and they want your money
in their pocket. We have hundreds. We don’t care which one
you buy as long as the one you pick is a great deal and you’re
happy with it. A happy customer not only comes back for more, but
they tell their friends. So ask away! It’s free and you’re
under no obligation.
- Get it in writing! Anything we tell you on the phone we’ll
be happy to put in writing. In real estate, a verbal statement is useless.
Unless it’s in writing, the law will not protect you. We pull
no punches, paint no rainbows, and give it to you straight. And, we
give you something not one other company on the planet gives you: A
One Year Satisfaction Guarantee. We are so confident that you’ll
be so very pleased with your purchase; we’ll guarantee your complete
satisfaction for an entire year! And THAT’S in writing too!
So there you have it, 10 items you are probably very glad you took
the time to read. Now, time for the fun part! Go through our listings
and pick out the time share that’s right for you. If you need more
general info, see “How Time Shares
Work” on our web site.
And pick up the phone!(800-809-6020) Email
Snail-mail us! Send a note by carrier pigeon! We’re here to help
you! Or look through our current listing of timeshares
for sale. Call
us if you don't find the resort you are looking for.