Mason McDuffie's Sabine sets
the stage for sales success


In the ever mercurial market of residential real estate, Sheila Sabine has discovered the magic bullet: staging.

As one of the highest producing Realtors of Piedmont's Prudential California Realty's office, Sabine knows that this market is no longer about "location, location, location."

She has the stats to prove it, 95 percent of all staged homes sell within weeks.

Presentation, or staging, is what Sabine does best.

She works with sellers to make their homes stand out from the competition by creating an atmosphere of beauty and peace.

As a virtual interior decorator, Sabine's staging services include everything from bring pieces of furniture to creating floral arrangements or pieces of art for the tables or walls.

Sabine does not charge for her services. "I do this work because it makes prospective buyers feel welcome, giving them a sense of the homes potential."

"Every home has a personality. My job is to work with clients by asking, 'What's beautiful here? What's great? Where are the problems?'"

Then she can be really creative.

"Not only does this approach make the homes sell more quickly," she said, "but multiple offers come in over the asking price as well."

Her approach to staging centers on the three principles of "see, simplicity and select."

"I want to walk into a home and try to see the space for what it really is," she said. "I want to look at the bones of the house. I then want to see what we can do to simplify the surroundings."

She then selects pieces that will make the buyers say, "Wow!" Sabine knows that selling a house and living in a house are two different things, so the less clutter and the more accents the better.

Sabine regularly holds seminars for Prudential realtors, teaching them various staging methods.

She includes the ancient Japanese principles of "heaven, earth, man."

These three principles dictate all her staging decisions.

"Whenever I sense something missing in a home, it's usually because one of these Japanese postulates is absent," Sabine said. "These principles are part of all good architecture, design and art."


She uses these axioms with her master's degree in psychology and the creative arts, as well as her experience in building and restoring homes.

She creates not only home-made holiday wreaths of grapevines, magnolia and hydrangeas, but the traditional Japanese wreath the Kadamatso as well.

Kadamatsos are fashioned from pine boughs to be hung outside a home at winter solstice to bring good fortune and safeguard its occupants.

Last year Sabine hand crafted 50 Kadamatsos and delivered them to her clients.

"It was just one more way I could bring beauty to my clients," she said. "That's the way we're all about at Prudential." She currently is working on a staging video and book.

She often teams with Judith Glass, a fellow realtor in Prudential's Piedmont office, to stage homes.

—The Montclarion, December 12, 1995

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ARTICLES: All the Homes A Stage | Beauty Sells for Piedmont Staging Duo | Craftsman-Style Home on 'Stage'
Creative Staging | Sabine Sets the Stage for Sales Success | Sealing the Deal | Setting the Stage 
 'Staging' Can Produce Magical Results | 'Streamline Staging' Experts Show Off
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