For many tree growers, timber sales are made only two or three times in their entire life. It may take twenty or thirty years growing a crop only to lose much of its value because of one or two mistakes at the time of sale. Mistakes in selling timber can cost dearly.
Improper preparation and a poor marketing program can guarantee less than adequate compensation and can lead to headaches after the sale. No step in tree farming is more important than the sale of timber. You cannot spend too much time studying how to do it. Take a look at the following " you should's " when selling timber.
YOU SHOULD SEEK PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE!
Selling timber is really not a good do-it-yourself project. You know the value of a doctor or lawyer when it comes to their specific areas of knowledge. Give a forester the same respect. Price quotes alone can become very confusing when timber may be bought in various units called cords, pounds, tons, board feet, and cubic feet. Selling timber requires expert advice as to what trees to cut, how they should be harvested, and what they are worth. In the very least, have a forester review your sale proposal.
Private consulting foresters handle sales for a living. They usually offer a wide range of specialized services, including comprehensive timber sales assistance, on a fee basis. Many landowners find this expense more than offset by the higher selling price consultants often secure for their timber. Studies have shown that people who sell timber and use a professional forester's help get up to 50 percent more for their trees. They probably sleep better at night as well.
Other objectives for ownership and management, such as recreation, wildlife and aesthetics should be considered before the sale. A forester who has a perspective of past sales can assure a much smoother sale and harvesting operation and avoid problems that may effect a forest owner's other objectives. Get professional advice.
Most regions of the United States also have forest landowner associations that will support you with a wide variety of services. Not only do they provide educational and management assistance, but they will support you legislatively as well.