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Harley, Other/Just Looking in Texas

If a family member purchased surface land and mineral rights way below market value. Then sellers find out

Asked by Harley, Texas Sun Nov 4, 2007

later that the buyers are now making a lot of money off of that land, is there any restitution for the sellers?

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Hi Harley. That's a really good question for an attorney. I am wondering why you think the seller would have any recourse. Nothing wrong with speculation, but since this was a family member, there may have been some undue influence. Again, this is a legal question and the answer will depend not only on the law but a very careful analysis of the facts surrounding the entry of the contract. There is no law without facts.
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2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 4, 2007
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in Newcastle, CA
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Harley, I doubt that there is an recourse. Unfortunately, just like buying a house, if the sellers don't do their research and determine what fair market value is they might give away their valuable equity. Doing business with family is usually a bad policy and can cause a lot of broken hearts.

Good luck with your situation.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 5, 2007
I am not sure I can give you a definitive answer here, but I can pose some questions that could get you closer to an answer.

The only way that there would be any recourse (not restitution, that would be the wrong word, here) is if there was/were any deceit, misleading statements, misrepresentation, etc.during or within the transaction.

Let's say that the buyers, KNOWING that the land was worth a lot of money, said, at some point, "that land is garbage and only good for swamp boats" or something to that effect, in an effort to cause the seller to sell quickly, cheaply or for any reason that would benefit them at the expense of the seller, they might have a case for something like "unjust enrichment" or something.

If the value of the land comes from timber, I would say they have no claim, because you can see the value, it is in your face, but if the mineral rights have to do with water, silver, coal, oil, or other unseeable things, then you can start to do you investigating. Did the buyers have any tests done on the land, and when? How did they know the land had the value, or was it a fluke? The buyers will, no doubt, claim that they knew nothing... but if you do some investigation, you will probably find out they knew because they tested the land, maybe without permission, and DID say things to entice or otherwise cause the seller to dump the property for less than its real value.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 6, 2007
I agree w/ both previous posts. While my initial response is to think that there might not be any recourse, only a complete review of the circumstances with an attorney could provide the answer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 5, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
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