When the for-sale sign goes up, it’s not uncommon for a neighbor to come forth with a complaint — perhaps about an issue that has never been mentioned to the seller before.

The complaint is often addressed to the seller’s agent, either in the form of a letter or phone call. In one instance, a seller’s next-door neighbor contacted the listing agent to find out if she knew there was a lawsuit pending against the listing.

The listing agent knew nothing about this. But she was sure, given California’s mandatory seller disclosure requirements, that if there was a lawsuit involving the property, it needed to be disclosed to buyers.

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