I just read a scam alert from the Better Business Bureau of Pennsylvania about two "companies" who contacted timeshare owners with a fake offer to buy their timeshare. Read the full article at the link below
The alerts states:
..... According to one of the victims... “This company is fraudulently collecting money to do a title search to sell your timeshare property. My property was listed for sale and I was contacted by this company with a supposed buyer. I sent money to do a title search and transfer of taxes.....”
The scam is hard to resist.. You receive a call from a "timeshare marketing company" that either states they have already found a buyer or will advertise your property without any upfront fee.
They then tell you that you as the seller must be able to verify that you are delivering clean title to their buyer- so they require that you order a title search for your ownership. (Sometimes you are told that this cost will be refunded back to you at closing.)..
They will then give you a quote for the title work- often asking for $1,500 to $2,000!
You are tempted by their lie... The bait of a buyer at a price much higher than you have any reason to expect, and plus they told you they didn't charge an upfront fee... You seem to remember that closing costs for residential real estate can be pretty high.. What do you do?
You JUST SAY NO! And then you hang up the phone!
Now, I realize that sometimes being told something is a scam simply isn't enough.. Ego and greed can cloud common sense. Even though the offer sounds too good to be true, you think that maybe- just maybe it will be true... If you feel that way, then here are some simple steps that you can take to find out for yourself!
First step: Offer to order the title search from your own closing agent or attorney! You'll be amazed how they will try to ensnare you into believing that only their choice of title agent will suffice! This should tell you that it's not a title search that they want!
Second step: Call a closing agent in the state where your property is located.. If you don't have a closing agent- simply click HERE to be taken to a list.. Ask for a quote on how much you would be charged to simply order a title search for your property.
Third step: Compare the numbers for yourself! If paying $1,500 still seems reasonable- then perhaps you should pay. It's probably less dangerous for the general public when you don't have money in your pocket anyway...
If you don't have the time or energy for these simple steps, or if you just want to take a shortcut and find out what the real estimates should be- here are some actual estimates for a simple title search that I've received.. I believe that I've covered most of the timeshare states. If you shop around, you can probably find an even better price in some areas!
North Carolina- $50.
South Carolina- $150.
New Jersey- $50.
New Mexico- $95.
To sell your timeshare safely and without any type of upfront fee, consult with a respected resale brokerage such as the Progressive Real Estate Agency- Timeshare Division. A legitimate resale broker will only earn a commission at closing and will not ask you to pay any type of advanced fee or listing charge!