Property Q&A in Dallas>Question Details

Landofoz, Home Buyer in Dallas, TX

bidding on a home.Seller wants to keep the mineral rights (norm for TX), but also wants to keep the SURFACE RIGHTS. What exactly does this mean?

Asked by Landofoz, Dallas, TX Wed Mar 23, 2011

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Once you have made an offer without the addendum for mineral rights, the seller can't change the contract. So, if you are still in the negotiation phase, it's time to move on. Homes in neighborhoods where there really isn't room to access sub-surface minerals wouldn't really be an issue, since you wouldn't know someone was accessing the minerals. Access in many cases is from some adjacent geographic area. You would not benefit from the unobtrusive access (receive any lease or royalty payments), though.

Surface rights, however, could potentially disrupt the use of the property. An attorney can help you understand these issues better and what to do. Most of the big lessees have moved on to areas not so restricted. It is possible that the seller doesn't know that the lessees probably won't pay anything now, like they were some time back. If there's an owner's association, the mineral rights may be moot.

If the land involved is large, contact a landman to see what the value might be of the rights the seller wants to keep. If it's a city lot, find a different seller - it's less hassle dealing with people who "get it" and aren't greedy. The listing agent needs to have a talk with the seller about reality. By the way, it is not the norm for sellers to retain mineral rights, especially for city lots or the like, but more likely to happen on larger parcels.
Web Reference: http://www.SumnerRealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 23, 2011
I think it will depend on where the house is, what size the lot or parcel is, and perhaps what else is at stake.
In most cases if you wanted to give up the mineral rights, you would want to keep the surface rights.
There is horizontal drilling now that perhaps would not require surface access to your parcel to gain the minerals. Mineral rights are basically what is under the ground, surface rights are just those. Potentially granting surface rights in your worst nightmare might mean a rig right next to your house...or a pipe yard...or a mud pit, or any other number of things you might not want, especially if you don't own the minerals. Get advice from your realtor or attorney regarding your specific situation.
Web Reference: http://www.teamlynn.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 25, 2011
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
MVP'08
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I agree with Sumner. However, I have found that sellers will let the mineral rights go if they want to sell
the home. for instance I have had buyers that are not going to pay for a home in the city and not have
the mineral rights and have to deal with this when they go to sell. The sellers backed off and gave them up.
Brent
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 24, 2011
T E Sumner is correct. Just read his response and you have the essense of it all. On most properties the surface rights are meaningless and can not be used , only land comprising several (more than 10) acres could potential have any value as it relates to surface rights.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 24, 2011
Actually Landofoz,

I appreciate you asking this question because I did a little research. While my advise to seek the council of a real estate attorney is still sound advice (and the correct advice), there is some important information that I found regarding property rights.

I definitely suggest you read this article put out by the Texas Railroad Commission: http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/about/faqs/SurfaceOwnerInfo.pdf

Because it's more than real estate. It's RAYL-Estate!

Brian Rayl, REALTOR®, e-PRO, SFR
Keller Williams Park Cities
972-949-4222
Brian@Rayl-Estate.com
http://brianrayl.com
Web Reference: http://brianrayl.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 23, 2011
Your buyers agent needs detail all this to you. Probably purchasing a home in Mansfield ? Fort Worth area(s) ?

Without reviewing all the documents part of transaction NOT representing actually no can render an opinion.

Most lenders may not approve a loan if seller wants to keep any rights to the property.
Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 23, 2011
If they keep surface rights, that means they can come on your property without permission and if oil were to be discovered on the property, the could drill without paying you a sent.

I have next to NEVER seen a real estate deal done with surface rights staying with the seller. You definitely need a real estate lawyer to go over this. Property rights dictate virtually everything that goes on on the surface of a property, including landscaping, putting in a pull, or adding on to the house.

Again, speak with a real estate lawyer ASAP before proceeding with this deal.

Because it's more than real estate. It's RAYL-Estate!

Brian Rayl, REALTOR®, e-PRO, SFR
Keller Williams Park Cities
972-949-4222
Brian@Rayl-Estate.com
http://brianrayl.com
Web Reference: http://brianrayl.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 23, 2011
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