Mineral rights owners looking to sell or lease have a new avenue other than a landman knocking at their door.
A Norman-based man has started MineralOwnerMart.com, a website that brings sellers and buyers together.
“The main audience is going to be anybody with mineral rights,” said Blake Thompson, who worked for five years as an independent landman in Oklahoma and surrounding states. “Even more, it's to inform people. We just want to help them reach a larger market and hopefully receive a higher price by reaching a wider market.”
The website, which launched in September, so far has about 75 listings from seven states. Thompson is awaiting the site's first deal, a 140-acre mineral rights sale in Garfield County. That transaction is expected to close by the end of the month, he said.
Thompson said his experience as a contract landman allows him to understand the needs of both sides in the sale or lease transaction. Sometimes those transactions can be tilted in favor of the company, which knows exactly how much it's paying each owner for leases. Those with mineral rights have fewer resources and might be relying on coffee-shop chatter or postings on Internet message boards for what companies are paying in their areas.
“They wanted to know what their rights were worth,” Thompson said of mineral rights owners. “They wanted to make sure what they were getting was a fair deal and they were getting top dollar.”
Thompson said the listing service is free to mineral rights owners. Listings last for 60 days and can be renewed in 60-day increments. Some listings have a specific price, while others ask buyers or lessees to make an offer.
“We charge the buyer or lessee a percentage of the deal,” Thompson said. “If you've got a price in mind per acre, we will add in 1 percent to 10 percent fee on to that and then list it at that price. If you want an offer to be made, we will present the offer to you that was given to us and our percentage would come out of that. Basically, if you're not completely satisfied with the deal, you don't have to accept it.”
Thompson said he encourages owners to do their due diligence on possible deals and involve an attorney if they need to.
Oklahoma attorney Terry Stowers, director of the Coalition of Oklahoma Surface and Mineral Owners, said the website looked like a good way to list mineral rights for sale for owners who might not know where to start.
“Anything that might give you more exposure is a good thing,” Stowers said.
Stowers also advised owners to check out other organizations, such as the National Association of Royalty Owners, for advice and information. The association's website is at naro-us.org.