Legitimate timeshare resale brokers are licensed in the same way that legitimate Realtors are licensed. Never, ever, do business with someone claiming to be a resale broker if she cannot produce a valid license, and always check with the Better Business Bureau and the American Resort Development Association to ensure that the broker you are working with is a member of one or both groups.
The well-respected Timeshare Users Group and TimeSharing Today magazine accept advertisements from many legitimate resale brokers. To help get you started, the listing below is culled from those groups' advertisements and then expanded with additional information.
Advantage Vacation is a licensed real estate company that is a member of the National Association of Realtors and the Better Business Bureau. The company's website has specialized links to timeshares that are located in Hawaii, California, Florida, Arizona, New York, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Timeshare units in other locations are available, as well. The company offers a free newsletter that includes timeshare properties for sale, as well as articles about timeshare buying, selling, and usage.
The Holiday Group is based in Seattle, Washington, and has been in business since 1992. It is one of the timeshare resale brokerage companies that does offer you a rescission period, or cooling-off time, after making a purchase. You will have seven days to change your mind and get your money back, whether because of budgeting difficulties, new-found information, or a simple decision that a particular timeshare unit is not for you.
This company belongs to the Better Business Bureau and promises to abide by the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Realtors. It deals with individual people's units, or with units that have been foreclosed or repossessed (not with resorts that are in financial trouble). On any given day, it usually has hundreds of worldwide properties available for resale purchase.
This licensed real estate company has been doing business for 21 years. It is based in Solana Beach, California, and its website property listings include dozens of timeshare units from all over the world, and in all price ranges. If you are a seller, the company will not charge you an up-front listing fee.
The company's website offers bare-bones information about the timeshares in its database and instead asks you to provide information about yourself in order to receive additional information about specific properties. Be prepared to be contacted by a sales representative if you want to work with this resale broker.
This company specializes in California timeshare resorts. It has been operating since 1968 and is a member of both the Better Business Bureau and the National Association of Realtors. Its headquarters are in San Diego.
Buyers pay nothing until they decide to make a purchase, at which point a minimum $500 credit-card charge is requested along with signed paperwork. Timeshare-unit sellers pay commissions, but no up-front charges for listing a unit for sale. All sales go through an escrow process, offering safeguards for buyers against unpaid liens, and title insurance is part of every deeded-property transaction.
Timeshare Resales has been working to buy and sell units since 1987. It is part of the GMAC Real Estate group, a well-known and highly reputable national corporation. Timeshare Resales U.S.A. is also a member of the American Resort Development Association, the Better Business Bureau, and the Orlando (Florida) Chamber of Commerce.
You can search the company's online database for timeshares that are for sale as well as for rent. You also can click the link to Timeshare Auctions, an affiliated website where you can search geographically for timeshare units that are going up for auction.
This Des Moines, Washington-based company claims more than three decades in the timeshare business, and it lists timeshare units for sale all over the world. Timeshare Wholesalers is a licensed real estate brokerage that has a good frequently-asked-questions section on its website to help get you started in the timeshare ownership process. Its website allows you to search for available properties by geographic region (using the same style of color-coded map that Resort Condominiums International provides on its website).
The Timeshare Store is located in the heart of the theme-park universe in Orlando, Florida. It has a division dedicated to resales of Disney Vacation Club timeshares, and it even encourages Disney Vacation Club members to stop by on their way to their timeshares, since there is a Publix grocery store in the same shopping center.
Most of the properties this company lists for sale are in its home state of Florida. A nice feature on this company's website is a search engine that lists properties by price. You can search only properties that are $3,000 or less, only properties that are $15,000 or more, and pretty much everything in between. You also can search through properties by resort name if you already have an idea about where you want to buy.
This licensed real estate firm is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the American Resort Development Association, and the Real Estate Broker Alliance. The company is based in Los Angeles, California, and maintains an online “blue book” database that you can search through to try to find out what timeshares have sold for in the resorts where you are considering making a purchase. Not all resorts are listed in the database — one search for any resort with the word “Disney” in the title came up empty — but you just may get lucky and find some valuable historical information before you make your opening bid.
TRI West has been in business since 1981 and claims to be the largest and oldest timeshare resale and rental broker on the West Coast. It takes a 15 percent commission from the timeshare seller on every unit sold.