Blanche Evans is a writer/editor and CEO of evansEmedia. Formerly, she was a senior editor with Realty Times, where she was named by REALTOR® Magazine as one of the most influential people in the real estate industry.
Using Feng Shui to Help a Home Sell
A real estate feng shui expert tells how you can use the Chinese practice in your sales and marketing.
March 1, 2004
If you are a real estate professional who believes feng shui is New Age malarkey, it may surprise you to know that the Eastern cultures not only have their own versions of the Chinese environmental science, but that they’ve practiced the art of placement for centuries. And now that the concept has been Westernized, more and more buyers and sellers are using feng shui to buy and sell real estate.
“It has nothing to do with superstition, religion, or philosophy,” explains real estate feng shui master and former practitioner Suzee Miller. “It is strictly the art or science of living in harmony with the environment. When we are one with the environment, magical things happen.”
Like a home sells. Or doesn't.
When all elements are in balance, they create harmony, peace, and balance to attract a buyer, Miller says. Such positive energy is better known as chi. When elements are harmonious, chi flows gently and peacefully. When they are out of balance, chi flows out the door or stops dead in its tracks.
The flow of chi is essential to the personal comfort and well being of occupants and buyers, whose bodies pick up balance and imbalance, suggests Miller.
The idea behind feng shui is to create an environment that is harmonious to the occupant (and buyer), and to support health and good fortune of occupants due to placement of objects, use of color, landscaping, and the use of the five elements—fire, earth, metal, water, and wood.
“Fire burns wood and reduces energy; fire creates ash when it dies—which is earth; earth creates ores which create metals; metals in their vapor state are liquid like water (minerals or mercury); and metal creates water and water feeds wood and wood feeds fire, and so on,” says Miller.
The philosophy can be carried forward from clearing a space to build on a property, to exterior and interior design, to furniture placement, decor and more.
Unfortunately, feng shui and its multicultural counterparts can’t undo a bad location or placement, but those can be improved.
“Every object vibrates, so you can use that energy in the environment to attract a buyer,” Miller says. “Feng shui means wind and water, so you want to bring wind to the front door to disperse the chi. You can do that by putting the five elements in balance. When these five elements are in balance, they send a ray of energy that makes you feel embraced by the environment.”
For example, a green front door and brown doormat are earth. To help a listing sell with a green door, create balance with a red wreath (fire) and a black doormat. Also put a fountain by the door (water).
Some homes seem to sell without any help at all, while others languish on the market. Among similar homes, why the difference in buyer interest?
“The energy is moving too fast,” explains Miller. “Wind we can’t see but we can’t discount its presence. Water is visible, so with a balance of the invisible and visible, when you open a door, the invisible chi moves too fast and comes through the doors. All you have to do is place a sofa or ficus tree to slow down the chi. When we slow it down, it becomes gentle and soft and flowing, and the buyers will stay longer, and they fall in love with the property.”
Another suggestion—try to have the five elements visible in every room.
“Don't paint the whole house green,” Miller says. “Our body energy picks up imbalance.”
Also, do something about long straight walkways or hallways, which Miller calls “poison arrows,” for their ability to escort chi out the door.
“Chi likes to meander like a stream,” Miller says. “When it moves too fast, buyers are in and out fast, too, and they don’t stay and write offers. So slow the chi down with a table or a potted plant. On a walkway, stagger some potted plants.
“The simplest way to look at it, is that if any element is out of balance or missing, we feel off balance, too,” Miller says.
In fact, Miller believes that feng shui principles can overcome just about any environmental negative, except one.
“No house will sell if it is overpriced,” she says.
(c) Copyright 2004 Realty Times. Reprinted with permission.
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