Is a Timeshare a Scam?

Is a Timeshare a Scam?

The timeshare industry has been plagued by misinformation, particularly regarding the question: is a timeshare a scam? Exit companies and cancellation lawyers often claim that consumers have been “scammed,” but this is not the case. In fact, many timeshare owners are highly satisfied with their vacation ownership, and while there are misconceptions about the industry, timeshares are not a scam.

Timeshare Presentations Are High Pressure

There may have been a time before the American Resort Development Association helped put regulations in place for the industry, but the old days are long gone. Today’s top developers must abide by a strict code of ethics that prevents them from misinforming owners or potential buyers, especially during the sales pitch of a timeshare presentation.

Many buyers even attend two or more sales presentations with the resort before making a purchase. If timeshare presentations were so high pressure, it’s likely there wouldn’t be very many people that make it out of that first presentation without buying.

In today’s world full of technology, most people are even researching the resort and brand before even going into a presentation. With a growing number of owners yearly in a world of high transparency, maybe timeshares are not a scam. Many buyers are going into their presentations with an idea of what they’re looking for.

Are Timeshares a Financial Scam?

Many people are under the impression that timeshares are a good investment, but that isn’t necessarily the case. If you’re thinking financially, then no, timeshares are not a good investment. Any industry professional will never tell you that you can make money off your timeshare. In reality, a timeshare will not go up in value. That doesn’t mean they’re a scam, though. Most things we purchase don’t appreciate in value. Cars, technology, and other everyday items are known for depreciating. Do we consider those a scam? No, so why do people believe that timeshares are a scam?

Timeshares do help people and families save thousands on vacations for a lifetime. By purchasing vacation ownership now, you are pre-paying for vacations at today’s cost. A hotel room now might cost one thing and then tomorrow cost even more. With a timeshare, you’re locking in one price at today’s value. In addition, timeshare properties offer more space in your timeshare unit than an average hotel room. Timeshares aren’t a bad deal for those who use it.

Not to mention, since timeshare companies have shifted to a point-based system you can travel to different locations like you would if you are visiting a new hotel each year but with today’s rates.

Most timeshares started as only visiting the same place year. Some timeshares work that way still which is great for families who want to visit the same area or property each year. For example, if your family visits Disney World every year then a timeshare purchase in Orlando allows you to keep that tradition alive with saving money.

Timeshare Maintenance Fees Are a Scam and Financial Burden

Club Wyndham Inn on the Harbor

It’s helpful for most timeshare owners to think of their maintenance fees as their HOA. In fact, most resorts use an HOA now to present these annual fees. Like a car, house, or vacation home, a resort needs maintenance. If you want to own a unit at a specific resort or with a vacation club, it doesn’t stay beautiful without some help. Resorts need regular maintenance to stay up-to-date, stay clean, and pay employees. With excellent customer service, new renovations, and consistent maintenance, regular timeshare maintenance fees are necessary.

If you see these as a burden, that’s fair. However, maintenance fees are no secret when it comes time to buy a timeshare. Your car payments are not a scam, so why would timeshare fees be?

Learn more: A Quick Look at Types of Timeshare

The Timeshare Resale Market Is A Scam

Well, this is plain false. There is a legitimate (and thriving) timeshare resale market, and we can prove it. As the Featured Reseller for Wyndham, the Recommended Resale Broker for DVC, and more, Fidelity Real Estate is known for helping owners sell their timeshares because there are buyers out there.

In fact, over 90% of our new DVC listings are sold within 90 days. We’ve helped thousands of Hyatt, Hilton, Holiday Inn, and Marriott vacation owners find the right buyer for their timeshare. The resale marketplace is perfect for owners looking to add on to their initial ownership for less. Or even for a new owner to test the waters before taking the plunge. If you’re looking to leave your timeshare, Fidelity can help you sell your timeshare without any upfront fees.

It’s Difficult for Timeshare Owners to Get Out

Getting out of a timeshare can take some time, but it’s not impossible. Most resort developers provide owners with easier options than ever. If timeshares are a scam, it would be hard to get out of them.

Owners are not stuck in their contracts. In fact, almost 85% of today’s owners are even quite content with their timeshare! The reality is you can’t simply “cancel” your timeshare contract. Exit companies or timeshare cancellation lawyers might tell you otherwise, but this is false. Most of these services are being prosecuted and receiving thousands of complaints to the BBB and state Attorney Generals.

If you need to get out of your timeshare, the first thing you should do is contact your resort. They can provide solutions or even refer you to a trusted third party to help.

Timeshares themselves are not a scam. The memories and vacation experiences they create for owners is not a scam. To avoid a timeshare scam, the most trustworthy sources of information are the developer or brand, the American Resort Development Association, and their recognized members.

Timeshare Industry Scams To Avoid

Is a Timeshare a Scam?

The most notorious timeshare scams normally take place on the resale market. Top developers follow strict guidelines and laws put in place to protect potential buyers or their owners.

Unfortunately, the resale market has been less regulated because timeshares were created to be lifelong products. A timeshare scam on the resale market can look like a few things.

High upfront fees to sell or “cancel” your timeshare. 

This is one of the most common timeshare resale scams. You should never pay thousands of dollars up-front to get out of your ownership. There are resources available for owners that need timeshare relief. Check before paying upfront for cancellation services. You should also call your resort or developer, as they may have options for owners.

Out of the blue phone calls from someone that says they have a “buyer waiting” and need a wire fund. 

It is illegal for a timeshare company or representative to call you without your permission. A legitimate timeshare reseller will never call you out of the blue. Furthermore, you should never wire any funds to one of these callers.

Guarantees to exit your timeshare ownership. 

In reality, third-party companies cannot make promises to exit or sell your ownership. A legitimate resale company cannot guarantee that it will sell if you decide to list your timeshare for sale. In addition, timeshare exit teams cost upwards of $5,000. These companies claim that they can help exit your timeshare contracts. When in reality like other contracts in life you can’t just cancel them unless you are in the rescission period. This time period varies from location to location. State law in Florida for a rescission period is ten days.

“Stop paying maintenance fees.”

You should never stop paying your maintenance fees when you are in the process of exiting or selling your ownership. When you purchase a timeshare, the owner enters into a contractual agreement with the resort property and timeshare developer to pay annual maintenance fees. Failure to do so would be considered a breach of contract. This will cause you to default on your timeshare ownership and negatively affect your credit.

Timeshare Sales

Check out our video for more information about timeshare scams and how to avoid them. Discover the essential steps to safely buy or sell timeshares and prevent falling victim to the industry’s bad apples.

Buy Resale Points or Weeks at Top Timeshare Companies

Timeshare ownership isn’t for everyone. But many owners find it to be perfect for them because they save money on their yearly family vacations. Do you plan to take a yearly vacation with your family? If the answer is YES! Then, a timeshare might be right up your alley.

Our Licensed Real Estate Brokerage has over 20 years of experience in timeshare resales. Fidelity Real Estate has a Better Business Bureau A+ rating and is a Featured Reseller for American Resort Development Association. As a member of ARDA, we strive to provide the best customer service guidance for timeshare buyers, sellers, and owners.

If you’d like to buy a timeshare for less we can help you find a good deal! We have timeshares for sale in all the top resorts and most sought-after locations. Whether you are looking for a specific week or to buy points, our marketplace has you covered. Browse top timeshare developers and vacation clubs such as Disney Vacation Club, Marriott Vacation Club, Hilton, Westgate, and more. Once you find the timeshare you want to purchase simply make an offer!

Sell Timeshare With Fidelity Real Estate

For those of you who have an unwanted timeshare, you might be interested in selling. If you’d like to sell your timeshare without any upfront fees, fill out the form below for a free one-on-one consultation. During the consultation, one of our agents will go over our process. Have questions? Contact us today at 1-800-410-5188 or email [email protected].

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