Home » Agents » In the Know: Carmine Sabatella on the Pasadena Market, the 2024 Design Forecast and More

In the Know: Carmine Sabatella on the Pasadena Market, the 2024 Design Forecast and More

by | Feb 27, 2024

Real estate, design, family. Carmine Sabatella does it all. An agent at The Agency Pasadena who works alongside his husband Ryan Delair, Carmine’s success is no accident. Whether it’s through his intuitive understanding of clients’ needs or his knack for holistically curating lifestyles, his approach to real estate is as refreshing as it is effective. In our conversation, he shares his journey, perspective on design, insights into the local market, the power of staging and more. 


How has your journey brought you to where you are now in your career? 

I’ve always worked in the service industry, helping people. I had a long run owning and operating restaurants and bars. Then, while getting my real estate license, I was a designer for a staging company, doing interior and landscape design on the side. I’ve learned how to streamline my life over the years. I was able to move into real estate and design full-time, and in the past three years, I’ve managed to create a work platform that incorporates both my real estate and design business in a fluid and harmonious way. They now complement one another, and I couldn’t be happier.


You work with your husband, Ryan. What different skills do you both bring to the table?

I am definitely a type A personality, and I like to take the wheel. What I have learned from working with Ryan is that I don’t have to take on everything alone. He had helped me to learn to delegate better and to trust the process. Ryan’s strong suit is his ability to be genuine and kind to the clients. He is organized and informative and loves to keep a tight schedule. I am the more creative, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of guy, so I think we complement each other quite well. 


What tips do you give people who aren’t sure what direction to go with their interiors?

I always encourage clients to go in a timeless direction. If someone loves ultra-modern, they love ultra-modern. If someone loves midcentury, then lean into the midcentury vibe. But, when someone is uncertain, then the best choice is to go timeless. It can still be tailored to a specific style, but you can never go wrong with something timeless. 


How impactful is staging?

In my opinion, and from a designer’s standpoint, staging can make or break a sale. If staging is well thought out and done to fit the style of the home, then the value is 100% there! On average, staging can increase the sale of a home by 10–15% with no issue. 


What architecture and design trends are you excited about for 2024?

First off, I’m thrilled that deep green is the color of the year! I also love that the big open floor plan is trending out, and thoughtful separation of rooms and compartmentalization is making it come back. There is something so charming about the separation of spaces that I adore. 


How’s the market in Pasadena? Are you seeing an influx of buyers coming from a certain area? Any trends in the market?

The market in Pasadena is on fire. We see quite a few buyers coming from the East Coast, the Bay Area and the Westside. I don’t think this is a trend, but what I am seeing is that if you produce a really well-thought-out and well-constructed product that is updated and turnkey, the sky is the limit. The buyer will pay top dollar for this kind of product, primarily because there are so many flippers out there that don’t know what they are doing and produce sub-par properties. The good ones stand out like beacons of real estate!


What trends are you ready to leave behind in 2023? 

I’m so ready to leave behind these black-and-white Oreo cookie farmhouses. It’s been so overdone. I’m excited to see a trend toward embracing unique elements that add personality and uniqueness to homes. 

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