March 2020

Setting the Stage: Is your home not selling? Teresa Kunich of Group 5 Design can help you with that.

Author: Barry Kaufman | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

It’s impossible to overstate how important proper staging is to selling a house. It’s one thing to tell a potential buyer that a home has mesmerizing waterfront views, spacious open living spaces and updated appliances. It’s another to set a stage for the buyer, to welcome them into the space and allow them to discover on their own how perfect this home is.

It’s a unique craft, home staging—one that blends the artistry of interior design with the psychology of physical spaces and how we interact with them. And it’s a craft that Teresa Kunich has mastered over the last 15 years.
“When I go into a property, it’s not only about placing furniture to make the home more inviting. It is about getting that property ready to sell. I’m going to look for little things that are red flags for buyers,” she said.

“When they see little things that are not in order, they start to wonder about what bigger issues they might not be seeing.”

But minimizing the negative is just a small part of what Kunich’s Group 5 Design does in staging a home. The much larger part of proper staging is accentuating the positives.

“We try to highlight spaces that are unique to the property,” she said. “If your outdoor living area, for example, is your big selling point, I’m going to put in furnishings and décor that draw you back there. We try to keep everything inviting and neutral, with plenty of open spaces where the buyer can flow freely through the house.”

And when a home is properly staged, the truly unique nature of the home is allowed to shine. “If I do my job well, they don’t notice the furniture at all. They see the house, which is what we are trying to help sell.”

It’s an art form that produces results. “I just had a villa that I staged on Monday; we uploaded the photos later in the week, and it was under contract over the weekend, sight unseen.”

“When I go into a property, it’s about getting that property ready to sell. I’m going to look for little things that are red flags for buyers.”

For Kunich, staging homes actually began as her contribution to her husband Donnie’s contracting business. Back during the early-2000s housing boom, he would build spec homes and Teresa, then a self-described “mom running PTAs and fundraising events for church and school,” would furnish them to make them truly pop. In fact, she was staging their spec homes before anyone knew what staging was.

The work she was doing on her own properties soon caught the attention of the local real estate community, always hungry for talent. “I had the furniture, so I started staging for other people,” she said.

Group 5 Design was born, evolving to not only encompass home staging, but also interior design and villa “refreshes,” whether a light sprucing up for the rental season or a full-fledged remodel of the kitchen and bath. Kunich’s background in the contracting business gives her a unique skill set of not only envisioning the beautiful final product, but knowing exactly which permits to pull and which subcontractors to work with to bring that vision to life.

That means whether you’re putting your house on the market or simply looking to refresh your space, Group 5 Design has a plan. “We work with clients who are putting together their forever home and clients who are looking to be in a home for five years and then downsize. I’m able to guide them toward their optimal goal. Together, we will help you maximize your real estate.” 

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