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Whelan Legislation Aiming To Boost NJ Tourism Industry Clears Committee

Would Make It Easier To Obtain License to Sell Timeshares

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic) which would help boost New Jersey’s tourism industry by making it easier for people to obtain a license to sell timeshares cleared the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today.

“The aftermath of Sandy has definitely had an impact on the tourism industry in New Jersey, which means we need to be doing everything we can to give it a boost,” said Whelan. “New Jersey relies on those tourism dollars, which is what makes this simple, common sense measure such a great way to help the industry.”

The bill, S-2152, would establish a new license for timeshare salespersons. Currently, timeshare sales can only be negotiated by licensed real estate brokers, salesperson-brokers, and real estate salespersons, or by owners of timeshare interests. Requiring those interested in selling timeshares to obtain a real estate license can slow the growth of the timeshare industry, preventing people from joining.

Senator Whelan notes that by establishing a timeshare salesperson license, many people who may not have the time or money to acquire a real estate license will be incentivized to acquire this limited license. Additionally, many municipalities that depend on tourism and vacationing can benefit.

To qualify for a license, a person must provide evidence to the New Jersey Real Estate Commission that the applicant: is at least 18 years of age; has a high school diploma or its equivalent; has undergone fingerprinting and a criminal history record background check; has successfully completed a 30 hour course of study in timeshare sales prescribed by the New Jersey Real Estate Commission and conducted by a licensed real estate instructor at a licensed real estate school, which would cover the following areas of study: basic contract law; sales practices and procedures, sales ethics, and basic theory of resort timesharing; and has successfully completed a timeshare salesperson licensing examination administered by the New Jersey Real Estate Commission.

As of August 2012, there were 30 states that require a person to have a real estate license to sell timeshares. Ten states require a person to have a timeshare salesperson license. The remaining 10 states either have no license requirement or have no timeshare resorts. Senator Whelan decided to sponsor the legislation after being apprised of the problem by representatives of FantaSea Resorts, a condominium and hotel resort company and owner of The Flagship in Atlantic City that currently employs 90 real estate agents in South Jersey. The company expressed that with this change in licensure for timeshare salespersons, they will most certainly need to increase their staff size, creating new jobs in New Jersey.

This bill was based off of a recent Pennsylvania law. It now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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