Facing neighbor complaints on eve of sale

Pending lawsuit, neighbor disputes change game plan

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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 -- there were already several buyers who wanted to make offers. The dispute centered on a possible encroachment involving a sliver of land. The seller's and neighbor's attorneys worked out a resolution regarding the encroachment. The seller's attorney prepared a detailed disclosure package explaining the issues involved for prospective buyers to review ...