The Timber Sale Contract
Why A Written Contract Is Necessary
Selling timber is a complicated matter that involves knowing about markets, tree values, future
tree potential, laws, safety, liability, ground conditions, and a host of environmental factors. It
may be a “once in a lifetime” event with long term consequences for yourself and your land.
(Note: for the purposes of this fact sheet, the term “timber sale” includes the sale of other products such as firewood
and biomass chips).
A written contract is necessary for a timber sale so
both buyer and seller have a clear understanding of
the conditions under which the sale is made. The
purpose of a written contract is to establish a
“meeting of the minds”. It is a legally binding
document protecting you and the buyer by listing the
responsibilities of each. It should summarize any
verbal agreements. It provides a road map for what
you are trying to accomplish.
What the law, RSA 227-J:15, says
about timber sale contracts
A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if, in the
course of buying or selling a forest product as
defined in RSA 227-G:4, VII, he or she
recklessly fails to provide a written contract to
the owner, prior to the cutting from the owner’s
property any forest products which are subject to
a notice of intent to cut as defined in RSA 79:10.
The contract shall be signed by both parties,
specify the remuneration for the forest products
to be cut, and the time in which remuneration
shall be made.
What the law, per RSA 227-G:4, VII,
says about buying forest products
“Buying a forest product” means exchanging
money or services to purchase a forest product,
or bartering for the exchange of a forest product.
A written contract protects both the buyer and seller
and allows each to see in writing what is expected of
them. Since 2007, written contracts are required
by law in New Hampshire.
You should know what you want from the
transaction; understand the effect it will have on your
land and your finances; and be