Neighbor disputes erupt when trying to sell home

Disclosure laws put some at a disadvantage

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There are few certainties in the home-sale market. However, there's one thing you can count on. If your neighbors have been harboring a concern about an issue affecting your property, you will surely hear about it when the for-sale sign goes up in front of your house. Soon after a home in Oakland, Calif.'s Montclair district was listed, the seller's agent received a call from a neighbor asking if she was aware of the pending lawsuit affecting the property. This was the first she'd heard about it. It turns out that the sellers and their neighbors were in dispute over a minor encroachment involving a deck. In addition, their relationship was so acrimonious that they had restraining orders against one another. California home sellers are required by state law to disclose material facts that affect a property to prospective buyers. Given this law, the sellers in the above example were obligated to disclose the possible encroachment and legal problems they had with their neig...