Jiminy crickets. We just had a closing and found out at the closing table that the seller wanted to reserve oil, gas, and coalbed methane rights.
We had carefully reviewed the sales agreement and found it silent on the issue. We sent the deed to the seller and agents prior to closing for a review. Nobody raised the issue. The only reply was that the sale price had changed and no one had given us that information. We made that correction and moved forward to closing.
It wasn't until the deed was presented at the closing table that the seller, thank heavens, asked if he was reserving these rights. He was told that no reservation language had been added to the deed and so that any rights he had were being transferred to the buyer.
The seller said that was not his intention and interestingly, the agents said that's not how it works in their office. They told our closer that in their office the sales contract and deed do not convey these rights. WAH?
They are using the standard PAR agreement of sale. They failed to use the Oil, Gas, Mineral addendum which was created for this purpose. They also failed to add any language in lieu of the addendum speaking to the desire of the seller to reserve these rights.
BTW At the closing table, this appeared to be the first time that the buyers were hearing of the reservation. What were these real estate agents thinking? How many other transactions have passed through their office without clarity on oil, gas and mineral rights?
Bottom line, folks, silence doesn't do it. If you intend to reserve something - anything - you have to add language expressing the reservation.