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One of the complexities associated with timeshare ownership is not knowing which companies to deal with, should you decide to sell. Most companies are genuine, but, of course, there are also unscrupulous individuals and organisations out there, eager to take your hard-earned cash off you. While this might sound scary enough, finding the right company to deal with is not as difficult as it seems. Armed with a little know-how, you can ensure a smooth sale with a trusted and respectable company.

A good starting point for finding a reputable company is by doing a search online. You can pretty much find out anything these days through the internet – both the good and the bad. As well as viewing the company’s website, do a search to see if there have been any negative comments published about the company. Check whether they adhere to a code of conduct, and contact any professional bodies to see if any complaints have been filed against them. Do not just rely on what the company has written on its website, but good indicators of reputation include a firm that has been in business a long time, and one that can provide references or satisfied testimonials.

If a company calls you out of the blue, and offers you a good resale price even if you have not advertised your intention to sell, then be wary. If they offer the hard sell and insist they have buyers waiting in the wings to snap up your share, then again, chances are they are not legitimate. A decent, reputable company will be realistic but fair, but not need to go down the hard sell route, and neither will they need to cold call out of the blue.

A reputable company wanting to manage your resale will not ask for any money up front. Neither will a decent company dress up any fees by calling them obscure names such as ‘tax payment’ or ‘closing costs’. Choose a company that does not ask for upfront fees and one that only requests payment once a buyer has been found.

You can also tell if a company is reputable by how helpful and informative they are in providing you with all the information you need to know about the sale process, and what is involved. A reputable organisation will provide all this information in writing, and will be happy to talk the details through with you so you understand what is involved at every stage. Such a company should be easy to contact and get hold of and willing to answer any questions you have in a clear way. Be cautious about dealing with any organisations that have ambiguous terms and conditions, are reluctant to answer your queries or seem very keen to get you to sign the contract.

If a company asks that you pay a fee by check, wire money or money order, be cautious, as these payment methods offer no protection. A decent company will offer you the protection of paying by a secure method for your own convenience and peace of mind.