John E. Gunter
Extension Forest Resources
A written timber sale contract is essential to all timber sales. Both buyer and seller need the protection that only a well-written contract can provide. Oral agreements are subject to misunderstanding and misinterpretation and are simply not adequate.
All items in a timber sale contract are negotiable--there is no one standard contract form. However, many timber buyers have their own preferred form. Generally, such a contract is written to protect the buyer. It may or may not protect the seller. Consequently, buyers and sellers will have to negotiate specific terms.
The items listed in the following sample timber sale contract should be considered by the seller in negotiating the terms of the contract. The first group of Essential Items should be included in all timber sale contracts. The second group labeled Other Important Considerations may be essential depending on individual circumstances. The items in the Special Provisions section may be applicable to certain specific conditions.
Disclaimer--The sample sales contract suggested in this bulletin is written in lay terms by professional foresters. Any actual contract between sellers and buyers of timber should be drafted or approved by the seller's attorney. The authors of this bulletin and the Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Georgia College of Agriculture assume no legal responsibility for the sample contract presented here.