Marketing your timber can be a complex process. Unfortunately, there is no single resource or publication that will make you an expert timber seller. There are key questions that you should ask, and answers that you should know before selling your timber.
To request a free exam of your timber and to find out more about timber sales contact your local Georgia Forestry Commission Forester.
It is recommended that you engage the services of a Consulting Forester and a Timber Buyer/Harvester (This list is made up of buyers/harvesters who have submitted information to GFC and is not meant as an endorsement of any individual or company. For an all-inclusive list of Georgia Master Timber Haresters (GAMTH), visit the GAMTH database) when selling your timber. It is also recommended that you use a Forest Products Sales Contract when conducting a timber sale. This contract will help everyone involved with the sale to understand what is expected of all parties involved. The contract should include the amount to be paid and how the payments will be disbursed, the type of sale, Best Management Practice (BMP) compliance, length of contract, damage penalties and harvest restrictions. The GFC also recommends that you include biomass provisions within the Forest Product Sales Contract for lump sum sales and Forest Product Sales Contract for per-unit sales.
Things to consider when selling your timber include the volume of timber that you have for sale, the area to sale, is the timber in question ready for a harvest, and the tax implications of conducting a timber sale (State ad valorem, State income and Federal income taxes). You need to know what type of harvest is to be completed. The type of harvest that is to be completed should be based on the objectives of the landowner, which might include maximizing the value of the stand, periodic cash flow, wildlife management, or improving the health and aesthetics of the stand.
Timber prices may vary seasonally and by tract and timber characteristics. Tract characteristics that drive value to pricing include the tract's operability, topography and access. That is, tracts that can be logged in wet conditions often demand a premium. Tracts that are unusually difficult to log due to poor access or steep terrain often bring lower prices. Tracts that have high quality sawtimber, high volume per acre or within close proximity to a wood using facility often receive a premium. And to the extent that these characteristics are not present, the price may decrease.
The Georgia Forestry Commission recommends that landowners seek professional assistance when selling their timber.