Garden Views Realty, Inc does not collect up-front money from sellers, EVER! We only earn at closing and monies are disbursed by a licensed, bonded, and insured title company or real estate attorney. If you have been contacted by someone requesting money in advance to sell your ownership, hang up the phone! Fraud is rampant these days and you can check the validity of a company by searching their name on the internet or contacting a source like the Better Business Bureau and the State of Florida for registration as a company entitled to do business.
From the Better Business Bureau:
If you’ve been contacted by a company offering to sell or rent your timeshare the BBB advises using caution, especially if an advance fee is involved. While these companies claim to have ready buyers or renters, imply they are representing foreign investors; or that corporations are interested, most are just offering to advertise your timeshare for sale. Do not confuse the service of an advertising or marketing company with those of a real estate company. In most real estate transactions it is the buyer who puts up a deposit and the real estate company gets its commission from the seller only after the deal closes. Ask if the company’s salespeople are licensed to sell real estate or whether they are selling an advertising program. If you’re contacted by a marketing service, don’t allow the caller to pressure you into making a hurried decision. Request detailed written information about the company’s services, find out where they currently advertise and visit other Internet listings the company may have. Most company’s can not tell you whether a timeshare has rented or sold because these are generally “For Sale (or Rent) By Owner advertisements. Fees for timeshare listing services can vary with little guarantee that your unit will be sold or rented.
Please use licensed real estate professionals only! In the State of Florida, the collection of advanced listing fees from Florida residents, regardless of the location of the property, and owners of Florida timeshares is prohibited. Section 721.20(6), Florida Statutes, prohibits the collection of any advance fee for the listing of any timeshare estate or timeshare license, and requires that any seller of a timeshare plan be a licensed real estate broker, broker associate or sales associate as defined in Section 475.01, Florida Statutes.
• Beware of upfront fees. Though there may be closing costs or other fees associated when selling a timeshare, be wary of any business that pressures you to pay fees upfront or before reviewing any contracts.
• Never wire money. Credit cards offer a certain amount of fraud protection that you cannot get if you use a wire service. Walk away from any deal that requires you to pay cash or wire money, especially to another country.
• Read the fine print. When selling a timeshare, make sure to read the contract carefully. Find out if the company is actually selling your timeshare or simply charging you to advertise the listing.
• Check the license. Ask for licensing information for the seller’s agents and check that information with the Real Estate Commission. Only deal with licensed brokers and always ask for references.
• If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of anyone who promises a big selling price or quick turnaround. High pressure sales tactics are always a red flag. Always check out a business first at bbb.org/search and report any scams to your local Better Business Bureau.