How much can my timber be worth?

Timber prices in the Piedmont and Foothills regions of the Carolinas can vary widely from tract to tract. Standing timber values can be as low as a few hundred dollars per acre to over $5,000 per acre. Some of the factors affecting the value of a stand of timber are species, products present, total volume, accessibility, soils, terrain, sale timing, proximity to markets, and terms and layout of sale. Prices vary considerably from buyer to buyer, making it essential that you have professional (one that represents you) evaluate your timber to get the best price.

Should I sell my timber before I sell my land?

It depends on your land sale timeline, timber type and value, and the likely future use of the property. I’ll be glad to take a look at your land and help you determine the best course of action.

Is my tract too small to consider selling the timber?

Typically 20 acres of average quality/volume timber are needed to sell a tract of timber without taking a reduced price. Why? There are fixed costs with any timber sale, whether the acreage is 10 or 1,000. These include: moving and setting up equipment, deed research, and contract preparation. The fixed costs make up a higher percentage of the total value on a low volume/value tract. There are exceptions–on occasion, I run across small tracts with large, desirable trees and high volume per acre that can be harvested economically. Example–in the spring of 2015 I sold an 8-acre tract in Cabarrus County, NC that had 1557 tons of pine forest products (that’s 62 loads) and brought a high bid of $32,200 ($4,025/acre).If you think your small tract falls in this category, give me a call.

What should I manage my wooded property?

  • Lower taxes. If you meet certain requirements, such as having a forest management plan and owning a requisite minimum number of acres (20+ in NC, 5+ in SC), you can qualify for an agricultural property tax rate. This designation can save you thousands of dollars per year in taxes, especially if your property is in an area where urban sprawl has caused land values to skyrocket.
  • Land Value. Managed tracts generally sell more quickly and bring a higher price. A well-groomed tract will almost always sell better than a “diamond in the rough.”
  • Investment. A managed timber stand’s volume growth is almost never negative, meaning it adds value every year (usually 3% to 10%)–meaning it is a safe, stable investment. Plus, when was the last time you went hunting, hiking, biking on your stock portfolio.
  • Wildlife. Proper management creates habitat for desirable wildlife species.

Who needs Timberland Advisors’ services?

  • Landowners who are selling timber or land.
  • Those interested in purchasing timberland acreage.
  • Persons who have recently inherited or purchased timberland and need an appraisal for timber tax basis establishment.
  • Landowners who wish to implement a management plan that ensure that their goals and objectives for their property are achieved.
  • Persons needing appraisals for estate planning.
  • Landowners seeking to improve the health and value of their land.
  • Landowners interested in wildlife management and habitat enhancement.
  • Landowners wishing to improve lease revenues.
  • Attorneys and insurance companies needing an appraisal or expert witness in cases involving unlawful timber removal or damage.

Do I need Timberland Advisors’ assistance?

Anytime you use professional services (i.e. doctor, attorney, accountant, etc.), you do so to improve your situation and benefit from their expertise. The same reasoning applies when you hire Timberland Advisors. To determine if you need our services, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I know how much my timber or land is worth?
  • Do I want to clearcut, thin, or selectively harvest my timber?
  • Is my timber financially mature and ready for final harvest or should I let it grow for a few more years?
  • Are the markets up or down for the timber products on my property?
  • Who can pay the most for my timber?
  • What terms should I include in the timber sales contract to protect myself and ensure that I get the best price and a quality job?

If you can’t answer all of the above questions with confidence, you most likely are in need of our services. Studies have shown that forestry consultant-administered sales result in considerably more money than do-it-yourself sales. See the study summary here.

How does Timberland Advisors charge for their services?

Fees for sales are typically based on a percentage of the final sale price of the land or timber. This rate varies from tract to tract depending on the type of harvest, the size of tract, and the value of the land or timber. Minimum fees may apply if tract value is low or and an unusually high amount of field work is required. The fee we charge for selling timber is fully tax deductible as a timber sales expense. Fees for other services are based either on an hourly rate or a flat fee, depending on the type of service. Fees are usually quoted after our initial no-obligation consultation is made.