Most people who attend a timeshare sales presentation have no intention of making a purchase. They usually agree to sit through the presentation in order to receive a free gift that they value, such as a weekend in a nice hotel, theme park tickets, restaurant gift cards, or some other enticing hospitality perk.
After all, there’s no commitment to buy. What’s the harm in listening to their pitch in return for something you’ll enjoy? If you don’t know what to expect from the process, this logic can potentially saddle you with an unexpected financial burden.
The high-pressure sales tactics used are designed to wear you down. In many instances, the sales team will try to keep you longer than the agreed upon time, increasing the likelihood that you’ll eventually sign the contract. If they serve alcohol, this can lower your inhibitions, making it even harder to resist the sales pitch. But most importantly, these presentations are often filled with misleading information that makes timeshare ownership seem like a much better deal than it is.
When you put all of these practices together, it’s easy to see why so many families get sucked into buying an unwanted timeshare. The most dangerous of these tactics is by far the use of false and misleading information, as this prevents you from evaluating the purchase objectively. If you receive untrue information during the timeshare sales process, it may constitute fraud. The following items are some of the most common misleading and potentially fraudulent arguments you’ll hear during a timeshare sales presentation.
To be clear, a timeshare is a lifestyle purchase. The value you typically receive from it involves the ability to take luxurious vacations and amass lifelong memories with your family. If this is your primary intention when you buy a timeshare, then you will most likely experience a good return on your financial expenditure.
However, it’s important to understand that most timeshares are not a good financial investment. With very few exceptions, your timeshare will depreciate significantly the moment you buy it. In fact, most people who try to sell their timeshare find that they’re unable to recoup much, if any, of their initial purchase price. If you peruse common online market sites such as eBay, Craigslist and Timeshare Users Group, you’ll most likely find hundreds of timeshares listed for sale for $1, and most of these never actually sell!
Despite this harsh reality, it’s common for a salesperson to tell you that buying a timeshare is a smart real estate investment. They’ll make this statement even though they know that the property is unlikely to retain its value and, as a result, represents a very poor financial investment. Unfortunately, many buyers find the prospect of making a savvy real estate investment to be one of the most compelling arguments influencing their purchase decision.
Very few people purchase a piece of real estate with the intention of holding onto it forever. Many couples eventually sell their family home once their children are fully grown and they no longer need such a large house. It’s perfectly reasonable to expect that you may want to sell a vacation property at some point down the road as well.
Timeshare salespeople know this, and they often try to make the purchase more enticing by promising that it will be easy to sell your timeshare later. In addition, they will often tell you that you’ll be able to sell your timeshare for a profit.
These claims are misleading for several reasons:
Some timeshare contracts include a Right of First Refusal (ROFR) clause which gives the resort the right to match another offer you receive. Often, the resort will exercise this clause in order to delay the sale of your timeshare. In many instances, this can drag out the resale process long enough for the buyer to change their mind and pull out of the deal.
Misrepresenting your ability to sell your timeshare, whether in terms of the ease of selling it or the price you’ll receive from a buyer, may constitute fraud.
The timeshare model essentially requires you to prepay for vacations you’ll take down the road. This can be a risky proposition. You’re required to pay all costs associated with your timeshare, including your monthly mortgage and annual maintenance fees, regardless of whether you use the property on any given year.
There are many reasons why you might not be able to use your timeshare in a particular year:
It’s understandable why you might be hesitant to make a purchase that requires you to pay for a vacation every year that you may or may not be able to take. One way the salesperson tries to refute this argument is by claiming you’ll be able to easily rent out your timeshare for a profit. In some instances, they may even try to convince you that this can be a lucrative source of revenue.
While it may be possible to rent out your timeshare, it can often be more challenging to find a renter than the salesperson leads you to believe. In addition, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to make a profit, much less break even. There are several reasons why renting a timeshare usually doesn’t generate a profit:
Misrepresenting a timeshare as a good source of revenue when it is usually hard to break even from renting your unit may constitute fraud.
Timeshares come with hefty financial obligations, including:
While these fees may start out being reasonable, they may eventually increase to a level where they become financially crippling and don’t fit into your budget. The true costs of these ongoing fees, including the average rates at which they increase, should absolutely be disclosed upfront during the sales process. Unfortunately, this often doesn’t occur.
In some instances, the salesperson may gloss over these fees without truly explaining them to you in detail or making sure you understand that they will continue to rise every year for the rest of your life. In other instances, these fees may not even be mentioned at all during the sales presentation.
Failing to accurately disclose all fees associated with a timeshare prevents you from making an objective decision regarding whether the purchase will fit into your budget and deliver the long-term value you expect to receive. This may constitute fraud.
If you feel duped by the timeshare sales process, you’re not alone. Thousands of families just like you have fallen victim to these predatory, and often fraudulent, sales practices. Fortunately, you don’t have to be saddled with an unwanted timeshare any longer. At Timeshare Termination Team, we can help you safely, legally and permanently cancel your contract.
Our team of in-house attorneys will carefully analyze the details of your contract to get a clearer understanding of your specific situation. We’ll also ask you about the sales process to identify any potential signs that fraud may have been committed during the initial presentation. If you were a victim of fraud, our team will determine the best way to combat these unethical practices when designing your customized exit strategy.
Our You First Approach™ ensures that your family’s needs drive the entire process. We understand that no two timeshare contracts are the same, no two sales processes are identical, and the needs of your family are truly unique. Our team of in-house attorneys will evaluate all these factors, and we’ll only recommend an exit strategy that achieves your desired outcome.
You’ll also have peace of mind from our Money-Back Exit Guarantee™. Our process works, and we fully stand by it. If we don’t safely, legally and permanently cancel your timeshare, you’ll receive a full refund.
Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Get started on your journey to freedom from the financial burdens of timeshare ownership.
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