Selling Trees on Property

My mother died and left to my brother and I 86 acres of land near Albany, New York. We have put the sale of the acreage in the hands of a realtor. A man called my brother last week and wanted to know if he could cut down the ash trees on the property. My brother said yes and I am worried that this man is not reputable and will not pay my brother for the cutting down of the trees as he promised.

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How do we handle this issue so we are assured we are not being swindled? My brother lives in New Jersey and I live in Maryland, we have no way of keeping tabs on the process of the cutting of the trees, we need some guidance on this. Thanks.

By ClaireD

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February 6, 20150 found this helpful

If youir property is listed for sale, may people can check the location for possible trees. You are facing possible theft, especially if no one is on the property to protect the trees. Some owners have visited their properties and found that someone had cleared their lots of all trees.

You can check with your realtor for possible protection ideas, can have a live on care taker, security service checks, etc.
Good Luck!

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February 6, 20150 found this helpful

Forgot to Add: You and your brother should have a signed contract with the man who called about cutting dowe the trees before any work is started. You can have an attorney intervene on your nbehalf and work with the man to complete the contract.

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Also, you can request through your attorney that an investigator run a background check on the man for any prior problems. Again, see my first response re protecting your property.

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February 6, 20150 found this helpful

Have you asked your realtor if the ash trees add significantly to the value of your property?

You can't put your property in the hands of a realtor to do a transaction, in good faith, then turn around and sell off what may be considered a valuable part of the property.

First, call the guy back and tell him there is no deal- at least not yet. The property is in the hands of a realtor and you need to get in touch with him/her. If the realtor says you'll get more selling the trees separately, go ahead if you MUST, but be sure you're dealing with a legitimate business, not just "some guy."

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But consider this: If this logger gets hurt cutting trees on this property, he can sue you. It's your property. And if someone gets hurt being shown the property because logging is going on, they can sue you.

I supposed you've guessed that I'd recommend selling the property as is. And tell your brother to let the women do the business in this family from now on.

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February 6, 20150 found this helpful

A little more specific about the company you hire to remove trees from a property: " In most cases home owner insurance policies do not protect home owner from this liability, most policies will state that it is your responsibility to check and confirm that companies you hire to work on your property have liability insurance and worker compensation insurance. If you fail to do this you are responsible for any damages done to your property or injuries that occur during the course of work."

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So be sure they have proper insurance.

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February 7, 20151 found this helpful

All issues raised by the people here are important and must be considered in the big pictue. Obviously, your main difficulty is in not living in the property area so your brother and you are not able to manage the local property issues.

As your brother and you do not live near the property, you should seriously consider retaining an attorney to assist in all the liability and security questions raised here and possible future concerns. The attorney should be one that practices in the property area as she or he will have experience in the local laws and courts, and can address all the concerns raised here.

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February 8, 20150 found this helpful

All of the points made above are good. You may find that the whole lot is cleared, or the remaining trees are so damaged as to be worthless.

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Contact a Forestry association or an Arborist association, and have a tree professional examine the trees, and property. You will be sent a report on the quality of the trees and what they might be worth, how many of the trees are marketable, and what other species are present.
If you are planning on selling the lot as a wooded lot, this step is crucial to ensure there is still value left; if it is to be developed, then the quality of trees needs to be determined to see if they add value to land, or add a cost.

The contractor needs to have insurance - for himself and workers, and a written contract is the best way to protect both of you. The Forestry/Arborist professional can prob help you with this (along with a lawyer), and they may know reputable professionals in the area to carry out the work. And the Forestry professional may be able to oversee the work.

Allowing "some guy" with no more info than that to carry out this very dangerous job is asking for a lot of trouble. Act fast. Unknowns often work fast, and come and go fast, and no way to find them. A site visit would be preferable, even if it is winter, or at least in the Spring.

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