What Are Some Tips When Searching For Mineral Rights Records?
June 1, 2017
If you own land that includes oil or gas rights, the idea of selling such resources either now or in the future has possibly crossed your mind. This is a great time for owners to benefit financially thanks to the amount of current activity in the sale of oil and gas rights. Before you begin the process of offering mineral rights for sale, it is essential that you confirm ownership.
Mineral rights ownership can be a complicated topic. You may need to do some research to confirm ownership and ensure those rights are actually yours to sell. Use the tips below to research rights to confirm your ownership of minerals so you can legally sell them.
Check Your Property Deed
Begin your research by obtaining a copy of the deed to your property. Deeds are public information and you can get a copy from your county records office. Look for the property description on the deed and note whether the description denotes the inclusion of any mineral rights as well as a note of ownership type.
If the deed states ownership as being “fee simple,” this means you own both the surface property and the rights to any minerals below the surface. If this is not indicated or any details are not helpful, continue your research before you offer your mineral rights for sale to anyone.
Research Records With The County Clerk
Continue your records search at the county clerk’s office in the county where the property is located; you can access local mineral rights records there. Confirm their business hours ahead of time as well as the search fees and go in person to do any searching. Bring your copy of the deed since the property address and legal description are required in order to perform the search. If you are unfamiliar with searching property index books, ask for help.
Begin Chain of Title Research
Researching mineral rights throughout the history of a property’s ownership is a necessary means of determining whether you or someone else legally owns the rights to those minerals. Theses searches can take some time, but can be very interesting as well.
Using the property index books, begin your research by looking up all previous owners of the property, beginning with yourself and working backwards. Create a chain of title by researching all the way back from the present to the original record ever made for the property. Through this process, you should be able to determine whether you are legally able to offer your mineral rights for sale.
Analyze The Results
Once copies of all the various titles have been assembled, start analyzing them to follow property ownership and the way in which the mineral rights have been handed down over the years. Look for terms that indicate who the grantor is on each title and who was granted the rights.
Look through each title to determine if rights were at any point granted to someone who is not the actual property owner. If there is no stipulation made about the transfer of mineral rights in the transfer of property ownership, the current owner of the property is assumed to be the owner.
If you believe you are the mineral rights owner and want to offer your mineral rights for sale, you must first prove legal ownership in order to do so. You can either follow the steps outlined above or enlist the help of a reputable royalties company to do the research for you!
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