How do timeshare transfer companies work?
It’s A Question We Get A Lot
Our answer to this question is probably very different than other time share transfer companies. Our goal first and foremost is to improve the timeshare industry and do that by making unhappy timeshare owners happy again.
With that said we have a very strong admiration for American Resort Development Association (ARDA), I’m even going to quote them a couple places in this post as well as be very transparent about how we work.
How do timeshare transfer companies market and sell their services?
A lot of our experience goes into answering this marketing question because we were the company that a lot of other timeshare transfer companies used. They were just reselling the same service that we are now selling direct to the public.
From a recent ARDA article:
Transfer companies market their services in many different ways. You may get a call from someone asking if you’re interested in selling or “getting rid quote of your timeshare. You may find a transfer company on the Internet when you search for how to sell your timeshare. Or you may even receive a postcard in the mail that says something like:
- Tired of your timeshare?
- We have a simple solution for you.
- This program guarantees in writing.
- Our consultants will be in your area.
- We will be making offers on all timeshares.
- We will acquire your timeshare.
- See why thousands of people call us every month!
They go on to explain:
After your initial contact with the transfer company you are often asked to attend an in-person consultation or informational seminar to learn more. Or you may also be asked to watch an online video presentation.
Once you get to the meeting or during the video presentation, you may be subjected to false and confusing information. The transfer representative may attempt to scare you with misleading horror stories about timeshare ownership. Then, after hearing the transfer company’s pitch on how your maintenance fees will go up every year that you own, you will likely be asked to pay the transfer company thousands of dollars to transfer your timeshare.
Here is how it works:
They use simple math to make the sale. “Your maintenance fee is $1000.00 a year. The average fee goes up about 3 to 6% annually. Over the next 10 years, you will pay over $11,000.00 in maintenance fees for a timeshare you don’t even use. If you pay us $4000.00 today, you will never have to worry about it again, and save yourself $7000.00…”
So if you’ve been trying to sell you a timeshare for a long time, this might seem like an attractive offer.
As ARDA explains:
Don’t feel pressured into making a premature decision, and to keep in mind if the company does not perform as they promised you can still face significant financial and legal consequences.
You probably realize by now that WE ARE a timeshare transfer company, so why are we telling you all this?
Because we agree with what ARDA says.
We believe people want less friction and stress in their lives. There is nothing more stressful than a timeshare transfer “consultation” like ARDA explains.
That’s why we designed our system the way we did, providing up front pricing, with no high pressure tactics. This allows the timeshare owner the space to make the right decision for them, one they won’t regret down the road.
With no high pressure comes a real and reasonable price, we charge $595 + your Resort’s transfer fee (dictated by the Resort). Occasionally there is a an odd resort whose rules make things a little more complicated, but if that’s the case we inform clients way before we start the process.
Roughly 80% of timeshare owners are happy with their timeshare, so that tells us that it’s possible we can help some of those people in the “unhappy” 20%. That means when we are marketing, we will on occasion use some of the wording ARDA has suggested you might see.
The reason for that? Simple, our research shows us that unhappy timeshare owners search Google for “How to get rid of my timeshare” (and other similar searches) and they do it a lot. So for us to compete with those other timeshare transfer companies that charge $3000 to $6000 to “get you out of your timeshare” we have to use a similar approach. The difference being we provide transparency and savings for our clients.
Another question covered on the ARDA site is:
Is using a timeshare transfer company the right decision for me?
ARDA suggests that you first check with your resort developer, resort manager, or homeowners association to see if they offer resale option.
Some do, some won’t, some do but don’t want you to know about it. And we firmly agree. We offer a free eBook to show you how to transfer your timeshare. Checking with your resort is STEP 1 in our book!
ARDA also suggests you make sure you’ve exhausted all other inexpensive or free methods of renting, selling, or giving away your timeshare before considering a timeshare transfer company. They also go on to say that a timeshare transfer company will probably be the most expensive and uncertain way to dispose of your timeshare.
This is where we disagree with ARDA a little, and the reason for that is their article was written with pre-existing timeshare transfer companies in mind NOT OUR MODEL. Our model is $595.00 plus resort transfer fees. So let’s say the average domestic timeshare transfer with the resorts fees included is $895.00 for a domestic transfer.
Between eBay fees, resort transfer fees, deeding and title work (and time), you can easily hit that number. And that is assuming that someone actually buys it on eBay, if you’ve done any research you will find most eBay timeshare listings are for $1.00 (yes, only one dollar) and even those do not sell!
ARDA also cautions that paying a company to transfer your timeshare ownership out of your name can be risky.
For most companies that can be true, that’s why we set out to have the most transparency in the timeshare industry. This is not an easy process, it can be stressful, and the more we can share and work with our clients as a team the better. We have videos that show what to expect when you work with us, how to get started, how the timeshare transfer process works, we even have videos for our Terms and Conditions, The Estoppel and Limited Power of Attorney. To top it off, we do all title and deeding through Sterling Title Partners, one of the top title and deeding companies in the industry.
If I do want to use a timeshare transfer company, how do I find the best timeshare transfer companies?
If you decide to use the services of a transfer company, you should DO YOUR HOMEWORK before listening to any sales pitches. Begin by checking with your resort manager to see if they have had any interactions with the transfer company to find out if they have had positive or negative experiences. You can also call the American Resort Development Association Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC) to learn more about transfer company activity and to see what other owners have reported about that company.
You can search the Internet for the company to read any negative or positive information available online. Don’t be influenced just because the company has a professional-looking website or claims to be a member of a professional organization. Look at consumer reviews and other news stories about that company.
You may also want to do a search on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. However, keep in mind that the BBB is not a government entity but is a private business whose ratings are based on consumer complaints and may not tell the whole story about a business. In the case of fraudulent transfer companies, owners may not know for a year or longer that the company has defrauded them or that the timeshare was not transferred properly and, therefore, would not complain to the BBB until long after the transaction. And, if the transfer company does transfer the timeshare, owners probably won’t complain to the BBB. A positive BBB rating does not mean the company is ethical.
The BBB is a great resource, but remember that unless a company is accredited by the BBB, they likely have little information on the company. Accreditation gives the BBB the ability to look more deeply into the companies they are rating, giving a clearer picture as to the company’s business dealings and legitimacy.
In many states, transfer companies may be required to hold a real estate license. Check with your state’s Department of Real Estate or Real Estate Commission to find out whether a transfer company is required to hold a real estate license before doing business in that state. If that is the case, you should not do business with an unlicensed transfer company
You may wish to check with your state Attorney General’s office or the Attorney General’s office in the state where the company is headquartered to see if that company has any complaints filed against it or if the AG has filed any actions against that company.
If I choose to do business with a transfer company, what should I do next?
If after doing your homework you still choose to use the services of a transfer company, you need to know the right questions to ask to protect yourself. You can use ARDA’s Transfer Company Checklist as a start.
Remember, if you choose to pay a large, up-front fee, there is no guarantee that the transfer will happen as promised. It certainly helps if your money is going to go into an escrow account or to a reputable company to be held there before the transfer takes place. But, you also need to make sure you can trust that escrow or third party.
DO NOT fall prey to a high-pressure sales attempt to get you to pay a large up-front fee until you are entirely comfortable with whom you are doing business. You may be offered a “one time special” or a deal that “expires at the end of the presentation.” This is a clearwarning signal. Do not be persuaded into doing it “today”. Rest assured, if you want to do business with a transfer company later, they will be happy to take your money at any point in time.
Make sure to check with the resort to see if they have heard of the transfer company and to let them know you plan to make the transfer. Some resorts may offer a dissolution arrangement or make a counter-offer to take back the timeshare. This could be a better option for you.
Again, that is always step number one. While most resorts and HOAs will not take back inventory, the rules change constantly so this should be your first avenue.
Also check with your resort manager to determine if there are any rules and regulations in place that would affect your timeshare transfer. Knowing these rules will help you avoid frustration if you pay a transfer company and later find out you are not able to transfer your timeshare for one reason or another.
Note: If you are thinking of signing an agreement with a transfer company, do not accept tax or other legal advice from that transfer company. Before signing anything, check with your own legal or financial advisor(s). If a company claims to guarantee eligibility for tax deductions or offers other tax, investment, or inheritance advice, use caution and walk away.
Also, if you are asked to sign a power of attorney or other document in order to transfer your timeshare, have your own legal advisor review any such documents first. And, beware of anyone telling you that you don’t have to read or review legal papers before signing them.
Finally, never provide credit card information, your social security number, information to perform a bank transfer, or any other personal financial information over the phone or during a high pressure sales seminar to any company you have not thoroughly investigated.
We hope that this updated version of an original ADRA-ROC article answers some of your questions and arms you with what you need to not be taken advantage of. We wish you the best no matter what avenue you choose to take. If you would like to download our free eBook that shows step by step what is needed to transfer your timeshare on your own click here.
If you do not have the time or patience to try and do it on your own, we are here to serve you go here: timeshare transfer pricing and look up your resort and if you like what you see you can continue through the online sigh-up to complete the paperwork process (no payment needed) to get our team started.
We have videos that explain it here: timeshare transfer videos
Our goal is to Improve the timeshare industry one unhappy timeshare owner at a time.
Thanks to ARDA-ROC for the original article: