Have you ever wondered just what it takes to be qualified to sell a timeshare for a development company?
There is no national law regulating timeshare sales licensing in the U.S., so the matter falls to the states, where we see a variety of systems in place.
In most states, timeshare sales representatives must have a real estate license. In our home base of Florida, for example, an individual needs a real estate license from the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation before:
“Undertaking to list or sell one or more timeshare periods per year on behalf of another individual or entity for compensation.”
Thus, in our state, a paid representative of a developer or resort company must be a licensed real estate agent working under a broker’s license. In contrast, Florida residents do not need a license if they are “the owner of a timeshare period who later offers the timeshare period for resale.”
It is important to note that these laws are by no means universal. In some states, such as Montana, a special timeshare sales license is required in order to “[offer] timeshare units for their own account or for the account of others,” though a real estate license is not necessarily required. This is also the case in the timeshare-heavy state of Nevada, where real estate and timeshares are licensed separately.
According to our most recent research, there are only four states in which there are timeshare developers but no requirement that they hire/use licensed real estate brokers in the sales process: Missouri, Texas, Virginia and Maine.
For anyone who wants to look into the timeshare sales licensing laws or requirements for their state, the timeshare industry news and information site Inside the Gate has gathered a regularly-updated overview of the state-by-state requirements here. It’s well worth taking the time to look over the list.
If nothing else, taking a look at the various rules and governing bodies in place across all fifty states highlights just how byzantine and confusing timeshare law can be, particularly to consumers trying to navigate their way through the ins and outs of vacation ownership for the first time.
Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn with 50 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare law. Our lawyers understand vacation ownership as well as the many pitfalls of the secondary market of timeshare resales. If you feel you have been victimized by a timeshare company, contact our offices for a free consultation. Know your rights as a consumer and don’t hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or concerns.