Is Your Timber Ready for Selling?
If you've got a good bit of land already, or will be acquiring land in the near future, chances are you've considered selling the timber on your land for a tidy profit or more landscaping opportunities at some point or another. Selling your timber can be a great way to revitalize the geography of your area, make room for new growth, and sustainably contribute to the global economy. Unfortunately, selling your timber isn't as simple as picking up the phone and calling someone to buy it. There's an extensive process and a number of checks and balances involved in making sure your timber is ready for selling. As one of Pennsylvania's leading timber buyers and suppliers, we've committed ourselves to providing potential timber sellers with the tools and resources they need to sell their timber quickly, efficiently, and successfully!
Seek professional advice
There are many things you can do solo, but selling your timber isn't one of them. In order to make sure you're compliant with the parameters and regulations around your timber and the land in general, we recommend seeking a timber consultant, or a timber company devoted to long term timber management. Of the two, the timber company is often the better choice, as it can serve as your one-stop shop for consultation, the sale of the timber, and the actual harvesting process. If you know a consulting forester, look for one that can help you make a timber management plan. A timber management plan is a long term care plan that helps outline the trees that need to be harvested (and when) in order to achieve the goals you have for your land. It can also help you identify particular potential issues that may arise, and come up with a solution for them before they become a problem. Once a timber management plan is written, you can share that plan with any timber-related companies you decide to work with in the future.
Learn about your timber
There are plenty of different types of timber. From oak to hickory, maple to cherry, each type of timber carries its own values, uses, and suggested harvest methods. A full service timber management company like ours can sit down with you before you sell to help you figure out which types of timber are on your land, which are best to sell, and how your region's timber rules and parameters may affect your price. While almost all timber can be used for something, some types of timber are more valuable once they've reached a certain maturity level. A knowledgeable timber company or consultant can help you identify important characteristics of your timber and decide if and when is best to harvest and sell.
Once you know your timber and what you'd like to sell, your timber management company can help you designate harvesting boundaries that will maximize new growth, comply with Pennsylvania guidelines, and get you the most bang for your buck. It's important that an expert help you set your boundaries, and that you put those boundaries in writing and in the agreements you make with the timber companies that end up doing the harvesting. (Of course, if you choose to work with a forestry company that offers full service management solutions, you won't have to deal with the extra hassle of drafting additional agreements!)
Set your bidding process
Timber owners typically sell their timber one of two ways: either through an oral auction, where several buyers congregate and place bids, or through a closed auction (or a "sealed bid" process) where buyers submit private bids and the owner chooses the best one. It's important to note that either option has positives and negatives. With an open auction, the sale of your timber is left in the hands of the bidders, but a deal is closed relatively quickly. With sealed bids, you may have a lot more legwork to do in terms of inviting buyers to view the property and collecting bids, but you'll likely have more say over the company bid that works best for you. Choose the process that you believe will bring the most value to you and your property. You can also consult with your timber management company on the best option for your land, even if you decide to open the bidding process up to others as well.
Make your agreements and check in often
Once you decide on your winning bid, it's important to formulate a written agreement outlining exactly what is to be harvested, the payment process, the duration of the project, and any other details. Then, once the agreement is signed and a date is set, check in often on the harvesters to ensure all of your requirements have been met and to make sure they continue to hold up their end of the bargain.
Selling your timber can be a rewarding process in many ways. By consulting with an expert team like ours here at Green Ridge Forest Products, you can ensure you get the very best prices, the very best service, and the very best outcomes for the sale of your timber land. Contact us today to see how we can help!