How do I reacquire mineral rights to my property? (The seller is now deceased.)

Asked by Rj.rj2, Dallas, TX Fri Dec 14, 2012

With the increased activity in the Barnett Shale and with gas wells being brought in near my home, is it worth the effort to reacquire the mineral rights to my property in Old Town Keller. The lot size is approx 1/3 acre.

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Rick DeVoss’ answer
Rick DeVoss, Agent, Ft Worth, TX
Sun Dec 16, 2012
Dear Mr. RJ,

Your question has many people confused. If you bought the property without the mineral rights, then you missed your chance. (You really needed to have a good Realtor representing you in the first place.)

If the Seller kept the mineral rights, and has now died, then his heirs (or estate) now owns them. You would have to negotiate a purchase of the mineral rights from the person or persons who now is the owner. You don't get to "reacquire them" just because the seller died and you didn't buy them in the first place.

Realtors don't deal in mineral right sales. Maybe you need to talk to an attorney who does, but attorneys are not cheap to work with. Is it realy worth it?? Maybe you could contact the heirs of the seller and see if they will sell the mineral rights to you. That transaction is not covered by a real estate license.

Many people, and some of them are real estate agents, don't know that the mineral rights do not automatically stay with the seller of a house. If they are not mentioned in a TREC contract, then the buyer gets the mneral rights when title is transferred. This has been traditional in our Texas contracts for all these many years because the "mineral rights" were not such a big deal to people in the past. The practice may change in the future.

It is my personal opinion that the mineral rights should be sold with all residential lots when a buyer buys the house. The amount you might get from them is usually not a big deal anyway on a small lot. I have never received ANY royalties on my lot, and I signed a lease with Chesapeake who said they were drilling nearby!

So, ~if you think it's a big deal, go see if the owner of the mineral rights will sell them to you. And the next time you buy a house, get a Realtor to represent you and get the mineral rights included in your negotiations.

Rick DeVoss

ULTRA Real Estate Services


0 votes
Yes, thank you for your reply and sorry for the confusion. The 150 character limit on the Trulia website makes it difficult to ask a complex question with clarity. We bought the house in 1996 and the seller was adamant about keeping the mineral rights. The housing market was quite hot in the mid 90s, so we really weren't able to explore other options. There were other factors that affected our decision to buy this home, even with the seller insisting on retaining the mineral rights. Before I retain an attorney, I wanted to see if it would be worth my time and effort, not to mention money, to acquire (or reacquire) the mineral rights to this property. I say reacquire because prior to my purchasing this property in 1996, the mineral rights were tied to this property.
Flag Sun Dec 16, 2012
Rick DeVoss, Agent, Ft Worth, TX
Mon Jan 14, 2013
Joe --- Thank you for the correction. I should have said: "...If not mentioned in a TREC contract, then the buyer gets the mineral rights, ...if there are any..."
I should have also checked my spelling and typo's a little better. Writing on Trulia has some limitations, as there is no spell-checker, and you can't use bold or italics. I have discovered that my spelling gets worse as I get older. (...and that means I shouldn't be able to spell anything anymore!)
As agents, most of us don't know much about mineral rights. I had one agent who tried to back door an addendum to get the mineral rights for the seller by sending it over for the buyer to sign AFTER we had executed the contract. I guess the basic principle there is that you can include something that is not on the contract with an addendum. But if you want to change something after the contract is executed, then it has to be an amendment. ~And amendments cannot be inserted unilaterally.
I'll bet the seller in that transaction had some serious words for his agent. Since something like this example could lead to a law suit, we all need to be vigilant in how we handle mineral rights, and consult an attorney if there are any questions.
Let us know how it works out, R.J.

Rick DeVoss

ULTRA Real Estate Services

1 vote
david, , San Antonio, TX
Tue Feb 3, 2015
At you can hire a researcher to find mineral rights or title examination to help using Landman on Demand!
0 votes
markisgenius, , Dallas, TX
Mon Mar 17, 2014
"""Excerpt from wiki """" Energy Information Administration predicts that by 2035, 46% of the United States' natural gas supply will come from shale gas"" Shale gas is the future of this Earth folks.
Now let me tell you that I've been hearing lots of fuss about people rushing in to buy mineral rights. In fact I have several neighbors who sold their minerals through DML Energy, a small firm that works in PA and OH.. I think they are a Denver company but my neighbor was paid in 45 days, and was happy with their offer."""
0 votes
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Sat Dec 15, 2012
You could buy them back or you could buy mineral rights from other people that own them in the area? No need to specifically get the ones for the surface you own.
0 votes
John Straub, Agent, Fort Worth, TX
Fri Dec 14, 2012
Good Evening
You need to hire an attorney to help you track down the actual current owner of the mineral rights. 1/3 of an acre is not that big of a plot of land. The cost of tracking down and aquiring these rights may well exceed their value.
0 votes
Tommy Burris, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Baton Rouge, LA
Fri Dec 14, 2012
The seller is deceased?
So, you bought the property WITHOUT the mineral rights?!?!?!

More info
0 votes
Yes. We bought the house in the Old Town section of Keller in 1996 and the seller was adamant about keeping the mineral rights. She passed away about four years ago and I was wondering if it would be worth the time and effort to reacquire the mineral rights given the drilling activity in the Barnett Shale in this area.
Flag Sat Dec 15, 2012
Ronnie Stanl…, Agent, Burton, TX
Fri Dec 14, 2012
Mineral rights can be bought and sold just like surface rights, realisticaly, 1/3 of an acre may not yield much of an income, a person would have to put it on paper with someone in the know of percentages of royalties, well production, gas prices and possible income to determine the worth..
0 votes
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