It’s Kim Dunn’s job to make you want to buy a house. But she’s not in advertising, and she’s not a real estate agent. Thirteen years ago, Dunn founded Staged4You, a company that “stages” homes for sale. She and her team painstakingly set up homes with furniture, accessories and everything else that’s needed to make a home look appealing.
Staged4You has a warehouse with 25-30 houses’ worth of furnishings, and the company can also take a seller’s existing setup and make it sparkle. And Dunn has the perfect mix of skills to do that.
“My degree is in interior design, and my background is in the furniture industry,” she says, “so I thought it was a good way to marry those two skill sets into a form of interior design work. The objective is to create an environment that’s very inviting and pleasing and that folks want to live in; the objective is to get the property sold.”
Staged4You can handle setting up vacant homes or ones that are still being lived in, though their approach is different for each.
“We offer two key services,” Dunn says. “Many of our key clients will take us in right after they’ve done a listing, and we do what’s called staging consultations. That’s to help the owner look at their home as a product and advise them how to get the house into the most saleable place, so that it appeals to the masses. Their home is very personal to everyone, and it should be. So we personalize it, whether it be memorabilia, family photos, collections, whatever that might be.”
The second service is for houses that are vacant or under construction. That’s when Dunn and her team have the most work to do, because they know that a potential buyer’s first impression is key.
“Statistics show that folks make a decision very quickly after they enter a property,” she says. “There’s a big difference between entering a property that’s vacant and entering one that has a neutral, inviting feel to it. And that’s what we try to create. We do try to stay very current as to the styles we’re using, and we try to complement the property. We would mainly do the key areas; that would include the entry foyer, family room, kitchen, master bedroom, bath, the key first impression areas.”
Staged4You’s process is a painstaking one; it’s not just about finding the right couch or table.
“We determine room by room what we’re going to place,” Dunn says. “It’s very detailed. We spec out exactly what we’re going to place in the property. We establish what the general feel of the property should be to complement it. We’ll place everything and come back the next morning with fresh eyes to hang art, place accessories, the bedding, lamps, the whole package, so that it’s like walking into a home that somebody lives in.”
Dunn says that Staged4You has remained a successful business for more than a decade because she’s built a team that shares her love of interior design.
“I think you have to have a passion for aesthetics to do this,” she says. “I think it would be very difficult to be in this field and not feel that way. It took quite a few years to get just the right mix of folks, who have integrity and respect for the clients we do business with.”
- Staged4You’s clients include C. Dan Joyner Realtors, Keller Williams, and Re/Max Realty Professionals.
- Dunn’s team includes two Staging Associates (Tracy Willis and Becky Dominey), a Moving Coordinator (Aaron Hughes) and a Communications Coordinator (Katie Chastain).
- Staged4You is one of only 200 nationally accredited Staging Professional Masters.