Do You Need a Divorce Real Estate Specialist To Sell Your Matrimonial Home If Getting a Divorce?

Is a Divorce Real Estate Specialist Different Than a General Realtor?⠀

Every time I get a call or a referral for someone getting a divorce & selling a matrimonial property  I’m always asked what is different between a Divorce Real Estate Specialist vs. a general Realtor?

Can’t any Realtor sell my house?

Why does someone absolutely need a Divorce Real Estate Specialist if they want a divorce & selling a matrimonial property?

In fact common even Realtors who are not specifically trained as divorce real estate specialists often don’t know the answer to these questions as they simply don’t know what they don’t know.

This might come as a surprise to you but selecting the best Realtor, and one whose in fact a Divorce Real Estate Specialist is more important than any other professional you will hire through your divorce.

If you think about it, your Divorce Lawyer, Insurance Broker, Financial Advisors, Therapist, CDFA [Certified Divorce Financial Analyst], Parenting Coordinator, or any other professional you hire when getting a divorce works exclusively for you.

They don’t work for you and your spouse.

Your spouse has their own team of professionals to give them their own independent advice.   

When you’re getting a divorce & selling a matrimonial property and you hire a Realtor to sell your matrimonial home your Realtor is the ONLY professional who works for BOTH of you – not just one of you.

A Divorce Real Estate Specialist doesn’t only have training and experience in Real Estate.

They also have training and a considerable amount of experience in the area of strategic negotiation, human behaviour & psychology, and they have additional legal training pertaining to Real Estate and legal obstacles which typically arise when selling a matrimonial home in a divorce. 

There are many many differences to selling a matrimonial home in a divorce from a typical real estate sale.

Here are 11 of the differences that a Divorce Real Estate Specialist must be successful at and why a Divorce Real Estate Specialist is important [critical] when getting a divorce & selling a matrimonial property.

#1. Key differences in how I “market” your property to potential buyers.

Not only must I market your property to potential Buyers, but it must be done in such a way as to not divulge that you’re getting divorced.

We don’t want to potential buyers knowing the reason that you were selling.

#2. Key differences in how I “stage” your property.

Not just “staging” it to sell for top dollar, but “staging” in such a way as to NOT divulge that you’re getting a divorce, so that buyers don’t know your reason for selling.

As a Divorce Real Estate Specialist I have trained many Professional “Stagers” on the various unique “staging” strategies to “staging” the sale of a matrimonial home in divorce.

#3. Additional legal knowledge.

I’m not a Divorce Lawyer but I’ve obtained extensive legal knowledge that must apply in every real estate transaction when selling a matrimonial home in divorce, as it differs from a typical real estate sale.

From properly understanding the need of where and when “SPOUSAL CONSENT” signatures are required or not required, to understanding many other legal obstacles and related legal remedies to getting a divorce divorce & selling a matrimonial property, such as “Right of Possession”, or  responding to and/or obtaining certain Court Orders to help with the sale if or when a spouse is uncooperative.

#4. Different explicit instructions.

I must give my office staff and my team different instructions and different guidelines to follow for clients going through divorce. 

We must be prepared for the unique circumstances, such as dealing with two spouses who might not be able to get along with each other or can’t agree.

I have explicit instructions and processes in place when you work with me to ensure that these things don’t happen and both spouses are protected and receive a smooth, safe, and successful real estate experience while working with me.

#5. Differences in negotiating strategies.

For example what would your Realtor say when a buyer asks why you are selling? They always ask!

Your Realtor can’t admit that you are getting a divorce or that makes you vulnerable to a low-ball offer.

As a “Certified Negotiator”, I not only know how to hide the reason my sellers are selling, but I’m also trained to strategically uncover the Buyers [motivation].

This helps when negotiating their “offer to purchase” up to a higher purchase price for you.

As a Certified Negotiator” it helps me deal with the many emotional variables that can arise by either spouse, which might interfere with the negotiations or the real estate sales process.

#6. Secure back-ups of all documentation.

All of my documents could be required as evidence in future Court proceedings.

I must securely backup all typical real estate documentation along with more detailed & meticulous notes on every interaction I have with both of my sellers.

As a Divorce Real Estate Specialist I’ve often had to sign affidavits, and even testify in Court, or provide detailed accounts of all things that transpired/occurred during my dealings with one or both spouses.

An ordinary real estate transaction does not require this type of note-taking or additional services.

So if the Realtor isn’t trained on what is in fact important when getting a divorce & selling a matrimonial property, and how to organize notes for review and transfer to Divorce Lawyers it can be detrimental to the client.

#7. Dealing with a variety of possible court orders.

There are various Court Orders which might exist.

I must know what to ask for and how Court Orders might apply to the listing when specifically getting a divorce & selling a matrimonial home.

After many years and countless transactions where I have worked hand-in-hand with the Divorce Lawyers, I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much from them.

This qualifies me to help my clients in ways that general Realtors [who do not specialize in divorce real estate] simply wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn and provide specialist service.

The result could be costly mistakes or even deals falling apart at the last minute, which in fact happens more often than you hear about, because the paperwork & protocols weren’t followed properly.

#8. Different protocols.

I have different protocols regarding;

  • For sale signs on the lawn, or
  • Neighbourhood marketing initiatives, or
  • Open houses, or
  • Lock boxes on the front door.

When a couple is trying to keep their divorce a secret from the neighbours, or children have extreme anxiety when they see a sign on the lawn, or a lock box on the door, I must go above and beyond (the typical real estate process) to provide customized services for my clients, to ensure their experience selling their matrimonial home is as stress-free as possible.

#9. Attend all showings.

Often when two spouses are getting a divorce & selling a matrimonial home they don’t completely trust each other.

Often, my clients want me to attend all showings to potential buyers in their home.

Ordinarily it is just the buyers agent who accompanies them.

But for my clients getting a divorce & selling a matrimonial home they want me there as well to look out for both of their best interests.

#10. Specialist in Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

The most recent increasing specialty that I’ve obtained as a Divorce Real Estate Specialist is knowing how to deal successfully with a soon-to-be-ex who might be a Narcissist or have Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

A spouse with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) can often try to sabotage the sale of the matrimonial home.

It’s happening more & more often when couples will hire a Realtor, and one spouse really has no intention of cooperating with the sale.

I’ve had several clients where, we listed the matrimonial home for sale, and then one of the spouses interfered with showings to potential Buyers, or interfered with many other details.

This can happen for many reasons.

If a spouse wants to delay the sale of the matrimonial home for their own personal use of the property or their own agenda, which may even be as simple as acting out of spite towards the other spouse, I’ve seen firsthand how some spouses try to manipulate the sale.

Unlike a general Realtor who doesn’t specialize in these circumstances, I have tremendous success in dealing with the Divorce Lawyers and my clients, so the spouse who is not cooperative (or who is interfering without justification) can no longer succeed in their attempts to sabotage the sale.

#11. Maintaining equal & fair communication.

Many Realtors forget that BOTH sellers are the client.

As a Real Estate Divorce Specialist, if you’re getting a divorce & selling a matrimonial home, I must communicate equally & fairly with both sellers.

Even though you might not live together anymore, or in some cases one spouse might be more difficult to deal with than the other person.

Sometimes a general Realtor would not intend to “choose sides” but they due simply because of human nature.

If they’re not trained in the complications that can arise in an acrimonious divorce a general Realtor might gradually start communicating more with one spouse, and less with the other spouse who is more difficult to deal with.

This of course is not fair to the clients and is in fact unethical for the Realtor to do.

As a Divorce Real Estate Specialist and a Certified Negotiator I’ve learned the skills to deal equally and fairly and openly with both sellers.

Regardless of their personal situation or their divorce, they are both my clients and I must know how to deal equally and fairly with both of them.

If you want more information about getting a divorce in Ontario check out my full divorce page.

Also, be sure to visit They have the best divorce lawyers and divorce professionals I’ve met & worked with.