Q: selling mineral rights, is it standard practice for seller to sign a contract and sign over the deed before being paid?
A: The buyer will want you to do it that way, but I always counsel my clients to not turn over the deed until payment is made. Usually I do this simultaneously. I've not had a problem in asking for and getting this concession, because otherwise it is too risky and not fair to the seller.
You mention a contract as well. You must be very careful in signing the contract because it may obligate you to sell while not obligating them to buy. There is usually a provision for checking title that is for an inordinately long time and can be negotiated by an experienced oil and gas lawyer. The entire contract should be reviewed by a lawyer because they are often in favor of the buyer.
Finally, you should consult with an attorney in your area or someone in the industry to see what your rights may be worth. Often buyers offer minimal amounts. I counsel clients to double or even quadruple the offer.
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