Minerals rights can be very valuable. If you own a piece of property that has or may have valuable minerals, your property could be worth a lot more than you paid for it. If you are thinking about selling mineral rights to your property, there are a few things things you will want to do before you list the rights for sell.
Make Sure You Have a Clear Title and the Rights to Sell
Mineral rights laws vary from state to state. In many states, owning a piece of property doesn't necessarily mean you own the rights to the minerals below ground. If you are uncertain as to whether or not you own the rights to the minerals on a particular property, you will want to ensure that you own them free and clear. In some cases, a Realtor may be able to help you do research on the title to ensure the rights have been transferred to you without being encumbered. In most cases, however, it's best to hire a title insurance company to do the research and provide the insurance that the title is clear and you own the rights. If someone else has a legal claim to the minerals on your land, you won't be able to sell.
Explore Options Other Than Selling
If someone comes to you and asks to buy your mineral rights out right, you may want to explore alternative options before agreeing to sell. In particular, you may be able to lease the options to mine minerals on your land. In particular areas, you can option out a lease for a particular kind of mineral. If you know your land has a variety of minerals that have value, it may not be in your best interest to sell all of the rights. In fact, you may want to take the money you make from leasing out mineral rights for one mineral and use it to do some mining of your own for a different kind of mineral.
Investigate the Full Value of Your Mineral Rights
A mistake some landowners make is accepting what seems like a large sum of money for the rights to mine their minerals without knowing just how valuable those minerals are. There are several ways you can independently research just how much your mineral rights are worth. For example, if neighboring properties have had a lot of gold and silver mined recently, there is a good chance your land could have similar success. It doesn't matter if it's gas, oil, or gold, having experts help you research the current value of those commodities and how much is likely to be found on your property is important to getting a fair price.
Remember, anytime there is an interest in mineral rights in an area, it's important for landowners to know whether or not to sell or lease what they have. Paying for expert advice and research goes a long way to prevent getting ripped off.