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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > June 2013 > Selling your Timeshare? Watch for Scams

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Selling your Timeshare? Watch for Scams


If you own a timeshare and are thinking of selling it, use caution before agreeing to do so through a real estate broker or agent. Since January 2012, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office has received almost 160 complaints regarding timeshares. Most of these complaints are from shareowners who are attempting to sell their timeshare through resale companies.

In their complaints, consumers say they encountered issues such as high-pressure sales tactics, misrepresentation of the sale, cancellation problems, billing issues, and failure to deliver. For example, one Cincinnati consumer paid a company $3,700 to sell his timeshare. After more than two years, the timeshare did not sell and the company refused to reimburse his money.

If you are attempting to sell a timeshare property, follow these tips:

  • Get all verbal promises in writing, especially any guarantees to resell your timeshare. If the company will not put a promise in writing, don’t sign the contract.
  • Research the company’s reputation. Check complaints filed against the company with the Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau.
  • Don’t give in to high-pressure sales tactics. Take your time to read the contract.
  • Ask if the reseller’s agents are licensed to sell real estate where your timeshare is located. If so, verify the license with the state Real Estate Commission within the Ohio Department of Commerce. Deal only with licensed real estate brokers and agents, and ask for references from satisfied clients.
  • Ask how the reseller will advertise and promote the timeshare unit. Will you get progress reports? How often?
  • Ask about fees and timing. It’s preferable to do business with a reseller that takes its fee after the timeshare is sold. If you must pay a fee in advance, ask about refunds. Get refund policies and promises in writing.
  • Don’t assume you’ll recoup the purchase price for your timeshare, especially if you’ve owned it for less than five years and the location is less than well-known.
  • Check the contract or the timeshare company’s bylaws for specific terms regarding the resale of your timeshare. Some require using specific resale companies.

Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly should file a complaint with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Office at or 800-282-0515.