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Daily Q&A: What should I know about using a reseller to sell my timeshare?

What can you tell me about using a "reseller" to sell my timeshare?

Consumers should carefully consider using a reseller to unload their timeshare.

The Federal Trade Commission says if the person specializes in reselling a timeshare, even if they say they are real estate brokers or agents, consumers should exercise caution.

Here are suggestions from the FTC, if you use a reseller:

• Even if the salesperson claims the local market is "hot," or his office is overwhelmed with buyer requests, don't agree to anything on the phone or online before checking out the reseller. Contact the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org), state Attorney General (www.naag.org), and local consumer protection agencies (www.consumeraction.gov) in the state where the reseller is located. Ask if any complaints are on file.

• Ask for all information in writing.

• Ask if the reseller's agents are licensed to sell real estate where the timeshare is located. If so, verify it with the state real estate commission. Deal only with licensed real estate brokers and agents, and ask for references from satisfied clients.

• Ask about fees and timing. It's better if the reseller takes its fee after the timeshare is sold. If a fee must be paid in advance, ask about refunds.

• Before signing the contract, make sure it specifies the services the reseller will perform, the costs the seller is responsible for and when they must be paid, whether the seller can rent or sell the timeshare at the same time the reseller is trying to sell it, the length or term of the contract to sell the timeshare, and who is responsible for documenting and closing the sale.

• Don't sign the contract if the deal isn't what you expected or wanted. Negotiate changes or find another reseller.

For these and other tips, visit: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2010/08/timeshare.shtm

Question for the Consumer's Edge? Send it to ipenn@sptimes.com or twitter.com/consumers_edge. Questions are answered only in this daily feature.

Daily Q&A: What should I know about using a reseller to sell my timeshare? 08/30/10 [Last modified: Monday, August 30, 2010 4:37pm]
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