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These salesmen are definite professionals, and sound very convincing. They have a good response for every question you ask them. They will tell you that they want to buy your timeshare, but first you will have to get an appraisal from an approved appraisal company so they can make an offer. They even claim that they will reimburse you the cost of the appraisal when they buy your timeshare.
This goes against most reasoning and logic when you think about it. If a company was really serious about buying resale timeshares, there are much better ways to do it than by contacting individuals and having them pay for an appraisal. A smart company would have a trained team of buyers scouring ads for deals, and another team of researchers determining what properties were worth pursuing and how much to pay! Finally, the proper way to conduct a real estate transaction is by opening an escrow account, so that both parties make sure they get what they expect in the transaction and that all details are properly handled!
If you humor them, they will have someone contact you at a later time to refer you to an appraiser in the area of your timeshare. They will give you 3 names and prices, and tell you that you should pick the lowest priced one. If you check the yellow pages for these companies, you probably will not find them listed.
Most lenders do not require an appraisal of timeshare weeks, however, these companies, along with some legitimate timeshare realtors and brokers, will try to convince you that the banks do require an appraisal. Depending on how much you are asking, most timeshare buyers have lines of credit and unsecured loans available for these purchases, as well as home equity or other loans against personal property. There are lots of financing options besides borrowing against the timeshare you are buying.
The bottom line is, be careful of smooth talking salesman! It is estimated that there are over 200 million timeshare units up for sale at any one time. This means that there are a lot of people out there trying to take your hard-earned money in exchange for timeshare services. They are experts at convincing people they want to buy or they can sell your timeshare. Be sure to research the companies you are doing business with. Get everything in writing. At a minimum, check to see that these companies are at least listed in the phone book (Internet phone directories like www.uswestdex.com are useful for this). If you live in an area with a lot of popular resorts such as Phoenix, Hawaii, or Orlando, check county records to see if any timeshares are titled in that company's name. Chances are, there aren't any!
If you have any information about successfully selling your timeshare to a timeshare resale or investment company, please tell us about it!
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Last updated November 3, 2003
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