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Section 3: Initial Procedures for all Dispositions

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Note: The Right of Way Manual provides guidance for disposition of property interests that are no longer needed for state highway purposes. Unless otherwise stated, procedures outlined below apply to property interests that are no longer needed for state highway purposes.

The Right of Way Division (ROW) is available to assist with all dispositions of real property no longer needed for state highway purposes.

All proposed disposals of right of way require a finding by the Texas Transportation Commission that the real property is no longer needed for state highway purposes.

A party interested in purchasing Department real estate may be requested to send a letter or email to the department that includes identifying information including, but not limited to:

ROW reviews the conveyance document(s) to the state to determine what interest, if any, that the state owns in the property and whether the conveyance document contains a reversionary clause. TxDOT will determine whether the state owns a right of way interest before they order a survey or appraisal. The appropriate district determines whether the property is needed for a state highway purpose.

See the SOP “Project Release for Real Property Disposition” to initiate project setup in the Right of Way Information System (ROWIS).

The appropriate employee should inform the requesting party in writing of the process and inform them that they will be responsible for all expenses, including appraisal, survey and payable brokerage fees and service fees. If applicable, the service fee is $300 or 2% of the sales price up to a maximum of $1,600.

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  • Unless a satisfactory survey or other legally sufficient property description already exists, a registered Professional Land Surveyor (RPLS) will survey the tract and prepare a signed and sealed legal description. The field notes should include a preamble citing the original conveyance(s) to the state with the recording information. TxDOT maintains the right to order and coordinate the survey used for a particular transaction.
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  • The real property interest will be appraised using a state certified appraiser from TxDOT’s current list. TxDOT maintains the right to order and coordinate the appraisal used for a particular transaction. The appraisal is merely a component of determining fair market value of the real property and is not necessarily the dispositive factor in the determination.
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  • An appropriate conveyance document will be provided by the state.
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  • All existing utilities, if any, will remain in place or will be adjusted at no expense to the state.
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  • The transaction is subject to all matters of public record and all easements, leases, and licenses affecting the property.
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  • The transaction is subject to approval by TxDOT’s Executive Director, the Commission, and, if the value of the right of way interest exceeds $10,000, the Attorney General’s office, the Governor, and the Secretary of State.
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  • The purchaser will provide a written agreement to purchase the property for the agreed upon value plus survey, appraisal, brokerage, service fees, and all other costs of sale, if there are any. A GE does not pay a service fee, but still pays for survey, appraisal, and other costs of sales.

The ROW program office in Austin will:

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  • For all dispositions below fair market value and all dispositions of Interstate project real estate at fair market value in which federal funds participated in any phase of the project, obtain approval of the transaction from the FHWA as required by 23 CFR 710.409.
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  • Prepare and process the minute order requesting Commission action.
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  • After the minute order is passed, prepare and route an appropriate conveyance document for execution.
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  • Notify the purchaser by letter that the minute order has been approved and the buyer will have 60 days from receipt of letter to close transaction. The letter should also state that if the transaction does not close within 60 days at the fault of the state, the buyer shall not lose the right to purchase the property nor any deposit placed on the property.
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  • An escrow company may be used for closing at the cost of the buyer. TxDOT will not be responsible for any expenses in connection with the use of an escrow company. TxDOT forwards executed conveyance instruments to an escrow company or follows agreed upon escrow instructions. At closing, escrow company will record the document. TxDOT shall maintain the right to request a return of the executed deeds at any time before closing.
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  • If there is no escrow company used, then after FIN notifies ROW program office in Austin that the funds have been deposited, ROW will send fully executed document to the department contact for delivery to the purchaser.
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