General question - ownership

Hi - I received a letter from a company wanting to buy ownership for a tract of land. I’m assuming it is a mineral lease, but I have had trouble finding out about the tract of land, who owns it and why someone would want to buy it. It is in Reeves County, TX and I have seen some other posts about that area. I have never received any property tax bills or royalties so how do I even find out what the story is? When searching the Reeves County property search, I found the wills/affidavit of heirship of family back to my great grandfather. I’m not sure how to proceed, but trying to understand what questions I should be asking, to whom I should ask these questions, and where do i search for any information on this. Thanks in advance!

Hello! You can ask the mineral buying company/operator for information on how you acquired title to the mineral rights. Oftentimes they will do that legwork and share it with you, and then you can independently verify it. Another option would be to engage a landman or title attorney to help you locate your interest, and any others you may have inherited.

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You can also use to get preliminary information. You are wise to get informed before selling as you may end up not wanting to sell if drilling is pending. Get familiar with the TX RailRoad Commission website.

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I have a number of mineral rights that I inherited, many of which I did not know I owned until some company contacted me about leasing them. In that case, property descriptions are generally provided up front. As far as property taxes are concerned, you will likely not receive property taxes on mineral rights unless there is an income flow therefrom. If you actually own a “tract of land,” then you should be receiving property tax bills. In your case, I would contact the company that is offering to buy and tell them that before you can make any decision, they will have to provide you with copies of all of the legal documents involving the property before you will consider selling. I have done that with multiple individuals who want to lease. With that information, you can readily determine whether the property is in a good oil producing area. You can also determine what similar properties are selling for in that area. Then you can make an informed decision as to whether or not to sell. That said, I have a policy of never selling mineral rights. They can yield nice bonus income in the form of leases. Additionally, if the companies do not drill and let the lease expire, it is possible (maybe even probable) that someone else will lease it again. This has happened several times to me. If a well is drilled and it is profitable, then royalties can provide nice income on a continuing basis.

On a somewhat different note, I own a couple of hundred acres of land in Parker County that is leased for cattle. I am always getting mail offers to buy, with all closing costs paid, etc. The only problem is that most of the time, they do not even offer an amount that is equal to the tax assessment value, and farm property in the area is selling for far more that offer. I guess some people are accepting such offers, but they are getting badly cheated. Hope this helps.


These comments are very helpful! I appreciate each of y’all taking the time to respond!