Step 1: Understand your objectives from the sale
- What is my motivation to sell?
- Do I need cash now?
- What do I know about the process of selling timber?
- What is the state of the timber market?
- What are my forest management goals?
- Are there neighbours, tenants or family members I need to consult?
- Are there any restrictive covenants, legal complications or access agreements to consider?
- Do you have adequate access for the operations you envisage?
- Do you have correct insurance cover as the landowner for the planned operations?
- What is the end result I want to achieve?
Step 2: Get professional help
From a forestry manager, talk to several different managers and then select one to write your management planand prepare your timber sale. Unsure where to turn? Visit our team page for a number of contacts.
Step 3: Draw up a simple management plan
You can do this with your forestry manager, this does not need to be complicated but will identify:
- What resources you have in your forest
- The boundaries, hazards, access routes and key features
- The management goals for your woodland
- The steps to reach these goals
- The timing of operations to meet the goals
- The end result you want to achieve
There are a number of tools that can help you map your woodland accurately, such as myForest and their newly developed georeferenced mapping capabilities.
Step 4: Identify what you want to sell
- Identify the boundaries
- Quantify the number of trees, species and size of the trees
- Identify the hazards and constraints on the harvesting site
- Identify retention areas, exclusion zone, and protected areas
- Identify key operational features such as access and egress, loading bays, machine storage areas, fuel and oil storage areas
Step 5: Apply for your felling licence, and if successful, plan the sale
Step 6: Gather adequate, correct information and prepare the sale
- Sale description
- Crop information
- Location map
- Access map
- Carry out a hazard and constraint assessment
- Produce a hazard and constraint map
- Felling licence number and/or certification details
- Timescale for the operation
- Viewing arrangements
- Record the state of roads, boundaries, landscape features prior to operations
And think how you want to sell:
- Consider the unit of sale (lump sum, average price, price per product)
- Consider the method of sale (auction, tender or negotiation)
- Consider the payment terms
- Do you require a performance bond?
- Set a reserve price
Step 7: Advertise the sale
Timber Auctions advertises timber sales through a combination of a website, postal and e-mail information as well as direct contact with known buyers. In many instances, advertising material on the website will bring enquiries from new potential bidders, these are vetted and then if suitable added to the buyers list.
Scheduled sales are run on the first Wednesday of every month. Bespoke sales can be held as required by customers.
Step 8: Select a buyer and enter a contract with the buyer
A sale should take place a specified time and place.
Depending on the method of sale when the bids are above the reserve a buyer can be select or in an auction the highest bidder is successful. If no offers are acceptable the seller may refuse all bids. Timber sales should always bebound by a written contract; this will protect both buyer and seller.
Your forestry manager should have a standard contract for sale of timber which can be drafted for the sale. This does not to be detailed but should be specific to the contract and detail exactly what has been agreed between the buyer and seller relative to all aspects of the sale.
Once the contract is agreed and signed by both parties, timber operations can begin.
Step 9: Supervise the sale
Normally your forest manager will supervise the sale. This should include:
- A pre commencement meeting to discuss the particulars of the harvesting operation, exchange paperwork, maps, insurance etc.
- Ongoing supervision to ensure operations are proceeding according to the contract
- Administration of authority to uplift timberand return of weigh tickets
- Collect payment as agreed in the contract
- Report to the owner on progress of the sale
10. Close off the sale
On completion of harvesting the site should be inspected to make sure all contractual obligations have been met, paying attention to:
- Protected areas
- Rides, open areas, boundaries and landscape features
- Lop and top
- Roads and stacking areas are reinstated
- Machinery, litter and rubbish is removed
- All timber is uplifted from the site