To sell timber, it is best to educate yourself on the actual timber sale process as many complex factors will come into play once the process has begun. Knowing what to expect may save you a lot of time and money (not to mention headaches or regret.) The following outline describes the various steps typically involved in the timber sale process.
Before we begin, first understand that by hiring a consultant company, you are sure to gain the most money for your timber. It is a proven fact that by obtaining professional timber sale administration services, you can expect to increase your revenues by 30-70% How? You will know exactly how much to expect for your timber. Selling on your own often results in sawmills or wood corporations sending out buyers that will take advantage of your lack of knowledge. By obtaining our services, the buyers will realize (and bid accordingly) that you, indeed, know what kind of dollar figure to expect! Southeast Forestlands works for the landowner not the sawmills, wood corporations or government. We work for you and only for you!
1. Hire the help! Hire a professional timber sales agent to represent you. The timber sales administrator will provide all services necessary to complete an effective timber sale.
2. Know your volume. Estimating volumes of rough wood products requires knowledge of the various units of measurement and how to obtain accuracy in these measurements. The basic units of measurement are board feet (lumber, veneer) and tons or cords (pulpwood).
3. Species. Timber marketing is highly specialized. Exact tree species (i.e. red oak vs. scarlet oak) must be recognized and will allow for an efficient offering to the best markets and thus, obtain the best price.
4. Quality & Quantity. Typically, large trees that are free from knots, defects and lower limbs are the most valuable. Trees are given different grades that pertain to their quality. Knowing the quality of your timber will bring premium prices at sale time. Also, the amount of trees to be sold is tallied. The quality, quantity, volume and species data will give a useful estimate of the dollar amount you can expect to receive.
5. Site Marketability. Though general market conditions may determine timber prices, local considerations also affect the actual price received. Accessibility, site and terrain, distance to market, size of sale and overall quality must be evaluated.
6. Forest Issues. Discuss with your agent your overall goals for your forest. Ultimately, your goals along with forest management guidelines will determine what type of harvest will be utilized. (i.e. selective cutting, regeneration/clearcutting)
7. Find a buyer. For most tracts of timber, the best and most fair method to all parties involved is to implement the sealed bid process. Your agent will solicit a number of companies who will visit your property and evaluate your timber. Each company will submit a bid by the closing bid date and your agent will then review the bids with you.
8. Contract negotiations. Your agent will draw up a legally binding timber sale contract to be signed by all involved parties. This contract will include a legal description of your property, sale price and method of payment, title guarantee, buyers right to access, liability issues, effective and termination date, penalty clauses, arbitration methods, witnessed signatures and other factors. At times, protective clauses will be designed to ensure the integrity of your land for the future, for example, a clause may be inserted to protect your riparian zones (creeks, streams) on your land.
9. Contract compliance. Your agent will visit your property to ensure the logging company is meeting all contractual obligations. Typically, a final site evaluation is necessary to ensure that certain logging areas (loading/landing sites, main skid & haul road) have been reclaimed as per contract and to protect soil from further erosion.
10. Sit back and relax! We at Southeast Forestlands promise to take the time necessary for you to reach an informed decision that you feel comfortable with. Be confident that Southeast Forestlands will actively market your timber to the top paying buyers in the region.
Remember that knowledge is key to conducting a fair and efficient timber sale. If you wish to obtain a knowledgeable member of our timber sales administration staff to assist you with your timber sale or if you have any questions, feel free to contact Southeast Forestlands. We are always happy to help in any way we can!
A few more words of advice, be sure to be wary of the buyer who approaches you and solicits a limited time offer or attempts to rush you into a decision. Most often, the “hurry-up” offer is to rush you into selling your valuable timber for the lowest dollar amount.