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What You Need to Know About the Divorce Niche in Real Estate w/Laurel Starks

August 5, 2021

Divorce is an incredibly emotional experience, but the reality of our society is that it exists. In most cases, the house is often the largest asset and will end up being sold. 

As real estate professionals, we can be on hand to help, but we have to approach it the right way. Divorce sales come with a ton of nuances, and as agents, we need to be aware of them before diving in.

So what’s the best way to handle real estate during a divorce?

In this episode, I interview Laurel Starks, real estate agent and family law expert who is the founder of The Ilumni Institute. Her company trains real estate agents on how to work with divorce attorneys and how to build a divorce real estate business. 

Laurel discusses her work as a court-appointed real estate expert and shares several helpful tips for divorce case listings.


To reach Laurel, you may email her at




“Divorce is an atom bomb on a financial situation...even in high-end luxury.

They get a divorce and it can sink their finances quickly.” -Laurel Starks


Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • Stay neutral:
    It’s okay to be empathetic towards divorcing clients, but NEVER take sides. Neutrality is the key to a smooth transaction. By having a sense of detachment, you can build trust with both parties and make the experience easier for everyone involved.

  • Do your research:
    As soon as you’re done with the initial conversation that the client’s getting a divorce, you need to do your research and background. For example, If there’s a court order, be sure to get a copy of it. Check the title. The time to find out about an IRS lien is not in escrow, it’s from day one.

  • Why training is vital:
    Family law is filled with experts, from attorneys to psychologists, and it should extend to real estate professionals. Take the time to get educated, and join training programs like The Ilumni Institute. 

Guest Bio:
Laurel Starks is a recognized court-appointed expert and trained neutral party in family law cases involving real estate matters. Her focus on divorce-related real estate has led to over $200 million in sales volume throughout Southern California and she is often regarded by her peers as the pioneer of the divorce real estate niche.

She is a national speaker on topics on real estate in family law. Attorneys, judges, and other legal professionals have come to rely on Laurel’s knowledge, judgment, integrity, as well as her ability to explain complex real estate matters to those affected by them. Laurel is the author of The House Matters in Divorce and Divorcing The House, and she has been recognized by Inman News as both an Inman Innovator and an Inman Influencer.