Other Transfer Companies
There are over one hundred "transfer" companies that are active in this industry. Other than pricing of fees, what separates these companies when it is all said and done? First of all, there are really only 2 types of "transfer" company.
1. Transfer Company: Physically facilitates the transfer from one owner/entity to another owner/entity. This would include, but not be limited to:
A. acquiring necessary documentation from original owner, such as deed, points or rtu certificate, power of attorney, authorization to release information, estoppel, etc.
B. Identifying a new, maintenance fee paying owner or negotiating with the resort/HOA for reacquisition. A new, maintenance fee paying owner may be an individual, a travel club, a rental company or other entity which commits to ownership and maintaining current fees.
C. Prepares all necessary documentation for transfer to be submitted to a title company for deed recording (or prepares resort specific documents for "right to use" or "points based" plans.
D. After completion of title transfer, a transfer company will notify the resort/HOA of the title change, submit supporting documentation and any "resort transfer fees" or other fees that that resort/HOA may require to complete the transfer process.
E. Transfer company then notifies both original and new owner of the completed transfer
2. Relief-Sales Company
There are many sales organizations which hang themselves out as "transfer companies". The truth of the matter is that they do little more than promise services that they do not actually provide themselves. These companies utilize various methods to present their sales "pitch" to timeshare owners. The vast majority of these presentations present owners with a "doom and gloom" scenario. Owners sometimes make poor decisions based on unfounded and inaccurate information and pay large sums of money to avoid the impending doom. When it is all said and done, the "relief" company pays an actual "transfer" company a fraction of the fee to actually facilitate transfer. This can create ugly situations for both the owner and actual "transfer" company. The process can easily be misrepresented by the relief company to close the sale. When things go awry, the owner can become confused as to the relationship between the sales company that they contracted with and the entity that is actually performing the service. Needless to say, a snowball effect can occur leading to a nightmare for all involved. Worse yet, some "relief" companies do not even send the transfers to a third party. In order to maximize their bottom line, it is not unusual to see instances where:
1. Property is deeded to a defunct corporation or entity.
2. Property is deeded to a "shill" who has no intentions on paying future maintenance fees.
3. Property is deeded incorrectly, causing problems with title which render it "clouded".
4. Nothing happens and "relief" company disappears, changes names or goes out of business.
In all of those scenarios, liability can bounce back to the owner. Do not fall victim to these types of unsavory business practices. This is a challenging industry and you need to make yourself aware of the potential pitfalls. Before selecting a transfer company, you should do the following:
A. Ask yourself if you really want out of your timeshare or if you are just frustrated because you don't know how to use it.
B. Ask the company if they actually do the transfers themselves or if you are being sent to a third party.
C. Ask the company if they are or work with a licensed real estate broker.
D. Ask the company which title company will be used to facilitate the transaction.
And always check the BBB. If you find that your company has been in business for more than a couple of years, has a "B" or better rating and has no complaints, make sure you ask some questions. This is a difficult industry and complaints come with the territory. If they have zero complaints, there is a good chance that they do very little business, lack experience and/or send their transfers to a third party. We aren't saying they are all bad, but do your due diligence.