Getting a Divorce? What You Should Know Before You Sell Your Home 


Divorce can be messy and emotional. Add to the mix the decision to sell the marital home, which is often the couple’s largest financial asset, and things get even messier. 

As Rhode Island’s first and only Certified Divorce Real Estate Expert (CDRE), Jennifer Cosgrove O’Leary has the following advice for couples going through a divorce and selling their marital home: 

  • Get advice from experts in the field. Just as you would choose an attorney who specializes in divorce, and a financial advisor who has experience with divorce, choose a real estate agent who understands the challenges of divorce and can manage communication effectively to avoid escalating tensions, and get you top dollar for your home.
  • A CDRE is specifically trained in the legal and financial ramifications of selling your home while going through a divorce. We are a neutral 3rd party acting as a buffer between you and your soon to be ex-spouse, fostering calmer interactions and facilitating productive communication.

A CDRE advises on timing the sale to minimize capital gains taxes and navigate other financial implications. 

  • We ensure a fair market value assessment and negotiate effectively based on divorce agreements.
  • A CDRE has familiarity with legal processes and has the training to guide you through legal requirements and coordinate with your attorneys seamlessly.

Working with an experienced divorce real estate agent provides you with someone who will maximize the value for both spouses while respecting individual needs and concerns, while taking care of the details so you can concentrate on moving on. 

  • Takes care of marketing, staging, showings, and negotiations, reducing your stress and will often advance the cost for any repairs necessary to maximize the equity return.
  • Has connections to appraisers, inspectors, and other professionals needed for a smooth transaction.
  • Understands local market trends and can strategize for the best timing and pricing.

Don’t rush. There is often a strong desire to get the sale over with. Take your time and find an agent you and your spouse both trust. Go with someone you both think you can work with. A good agent should be able to provide you with references of other divorcing couples they have worked with. Check those references and in the end you can rest easy knowing you have hired an expert who has your best interests at heart. 

About the Author: Jennifer Cosgrove O’Leary is one of the top 10 Realtors® (as certified by Real Trends) in the state of Rhode Island and the Co-Owner/Broker of Greenwich Bay Brokers. She is the only Certified Divorce Real Estate agent in the state, and is also a Senior Real Estate Specialist. Jennifer leverages her years of interior design experience, as well as her degree in occupational therapy to provide guidance on the critical aesthetic and ease of use elements that are part of the home buying and selling process.