Jennifer Stojanovich

The big question – to stage or not

Jennifer StojanovichCLAYTON, CA (Oct. 24, 2023) — In the world of real estate, every listing appointment comes with its unique story, challenges and opportunities.

Recently, I had the privilege of meeting with homeowners who had resided in their beloved home for more than three decades. The prospect of selling a property filled with so many cherished memories was a significant decision for them.

As we sat down to discuss their goals, the topic of staging their home surfaced – revealing a heartfelt attachment to their living space.

The couple had not merely occupied a house; they had woven their lives into every nook and cranny of the home. Each room was a chapter of their story, with cherished memories and a lifetime of possessions.

Staging involves rearranging a home to make it more appealing to potential buyers. It often means depersonalizing by temporarily removing personal items and bringing in rented furniture and decor.

In this instance, the homeowners questioned why they should remove some of their belongings, saying they wanted to showcase their own furniture. They felt that changing their home to appeal to potential buyers seemed like erasing a part of their history – a sentiment that’s entirely understandable.

As their real estate agent, I needed to understand their perspective and respect their attachment to the property. However, I also wanted to provide them with the best possible chance of selling their home at a competitive price.

I explained that staging didn’t necessarily mean erasing their personal touches. It could involve a compromise where we utilized their furniture and decor strategically. By decluttering, rearranging and enhancing their existing furnishings, we could create a more neutral and appealing environment for potential buyers.

This way, they could retain their connection to the home while still making it attractive to a broader audience.

After discussing the possibilities and seeing examples of successfully staged homes using a mix of the homeowners’ belongings and stagers’ items, the sellers agreed to give it a try. They recognized that striking a balance between their attachment to the home and the need to present it in the best possible light was a reasonable compromise.

In the end, we embarked on a journey to prepare their home for sale while preserving its unique character.

The experience was a great reminder of the emotional weight that selling a home can carry. It was also a testament to the power of compromise in the ever-evolving world of real estate, where personal histories and market dynamics often intersect.

Jennifer Stojanovich is an owner/broker with Better Homes Real Estate. Send questions and comments to