Business PhilosophyShelly is a people person and her goal as a real estate agent is to help make each client, whether buying or selling, happy. Sellers will benefit from her attention to detail and continuous communication. Buyers will receive constant attention in all aspects of the purchasing process. To further serve her clients, Shelly and The Hometown Team have a small, local office at the Killingworth Circle at 255 Route 80.
Attended Eastern Connecticut State University and obtained a BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry.
Obtained Real Estate license in 2010. Completed Coldwell Banker training in July, 2010.
Awards And Designations
Connecticut Magazine has recognized Shelly as a Five Star Real Estate Agent for eight years-2015 through 2023!
Shelly was awarded the Coldwell Banker International President's Circle Award for her sales in 2015, 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021. She was also awarded International Diamond Society in 2016 and 2019.
She had previously been awarded the Coldwell Banker International Sterling Society Designation for her sales in 2013 and 2014.
Shelly was inducted into the Haddam-Killingworth Hall of Fame in May, 2012. This distinction acknowledges Shelly's efforts on behalf of her community.
In December of 2012, Shelly was awarded the 2012 Community Service Award by the Midd-Shore Board of Realtors for her "endless contributions to the community".
In 2015, Shelly was named Killingworth Citizen of the Year!
Areas of ExpertiseShelly has experience in both representing the buyers and sellers of land, antique homes, new construction and everything in between!
Killingworth Library Board of Directors
Haddam Killingworth Soccer Club
Killingworth Park and Recreation Commission
Haddam Killingworth Park and Recreation Authority
Shelly was the last of six Birks children and lived in Milford, CT throughout her childhood years. She attended Foran High School and then got her Biology degree from Eastern Connecticut State University in 1981. After several years working at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven (where she met her husband Peter of 38 years) she joined Pfizer where she was a research scientist for almost ten years. At that time, she left the work force to be a full-time mom to her two children, Tucker and Greg.
Peter and Shelly own Winterberry Farm in Killingworth. This choose and cut Christmas tree farm opened for business in 1989 and has over 17 acres of trees. It has become an integral part of families Christmas tradition throughout the shoreline.
Sarah's Real Estate philosophy is based on her clinical mental health background as well as passion for design psychology and interior redesign. She believes that a "home" is more than where a person lives- it is a sacred space. She is able to support those looking to buy or sell a home throughout this emotional and sometimes stressful process.
Areas of Expertise: Sarah is able to apply her interior redesign background in staging and preparing homes for sale as well as in supporting buyers in seeing the potential of a home. She has interest in antique homes and replicas but can help clients with envisioning any style of home in becoming the perfect fit.
Interior Design certificate, New York Institute of Art and Design, NYC, NY (2018-2019)
Interior Redesign course, School of Interior Redesign, Milford, CT (2017)
Northeastern University, Bouvé School of Health Sciences, Boston, MA (2013)- Master of Science in Counseling Psychology
University of Colorado, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Boulder, CO (1998)- Bachelor of Science with honors
Sarah is the Co-Owner of Benton Behavioral Health Consulting, LLC with her husband Josh. She also owns Mind Redesign that provides interior redesign and staging services. She is a Clinical Consultant at The Strathmore House transitional living in Boston, MA and at Aware Recovery Care in North Haven, CT. Sarah is author of the book "Understanding the High-functioning Alcoholic" and gives presentations and clinical mental health and addiction at schools, colleges, addiction treatment programs/conferences and to the general public. She worked at McLean Hospital (affiliated with Harvard Medical School) at McLean Brook transitional living program for substance abuse and dual diagnosis treatment in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Sarah has a background in journalism and media and has been featured in a NY Times article by Jane Brody, has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, SiriusXM, NPR and more.
Sarah enjoys volunteering with Pet Partners with her Certified Therapy Dog Chloe at local schools and Hospitals. She also works with a volunteer team in Killingworth, CT that sponsors schools in the Hartford School System in a student holiday shopping event. She enjoys playing tennis, skiing, yoga, hiking, running and being outside in nature.