Take time to vet timeshare resellers

Timeshares can make for a great vacation experience, or a massive headache if things go poorly. One company that claims to offer escrow services for sellers of timeshare units is in hot water after the Idaho Department of Finance announced a cease-and-desist order.

According to the Department of Finance, Reliant Escrow Transaction &Coordination (Reliant) purports to be an online escrow company located in Idaho that appears to work with a company called International Investors. The latter company claims a New Jersey address, but the Department of Finance says no company by that name exists at the listed location.

“Owners of timeshare units in Mexico are contacted by International Investors claiming to have a buyer or lessee for their timeshare unit and asking if the owner is interested in selling or leasing their unit,” reports the Department of Finance, “International Investors then directs the seller to Reliant to close the escrow transaction and owners are asked to pay fees in advance of closing the transaction.”

Better Business Bureau receives hundreds of thousands of inquiries on Vacation Timeshares, Timeshare Companies and Timeshare Resale and Rental Marketing companies each year. These three industries together account for more than 4,000 complaints to BBB in 2015.

If you own a timeshare and are considering selling, be cautious of unexpected emails or calls that appear to be attractive offers for buying or leasing. Also keep in mind the following tips from BBB and Federal Trade Commission:

n Don’t immediately agree to anything over the phone or online. Check out the reseller with Better Business Bureau and regulatory authorities.

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

n Ask how the reseller will advertise and promote the timeshare unit. Will progress reports be issued? How often?

n 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. Get refund policies and promises in writing.

n Check with the resort to determine restrictions, limits, or fees that could affect resale or ownership transfer.

Before you sign a contract with a reseller, get details of the contract in writing before you sign including things like what services the reseller will perform, for what fees and commissions, the length of time the reseller has to sell the timeshare, and what recourse you have if any part of the transaction isn’t what you expected or wanted.

Emily Valla is the marketplace director for Better Business Bureau Northwest: Idaho and Western Wyoming. Contact her at 208-523-9754 or by emailing emily.valla@thebbb

Emily Valla is the marketplace director for Better Business Bureau Northwest: Idaho and Western Wyoming. Contact her at 208-523-9754 or by emailing

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Source: Business