Using Feng Shui to Stage Your Home, by Christine Ayers
(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)
Feng shui has been used to make homes more welcoming for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. In selling a home, this factor alone can make the difference for a quick sale. If your home has been sitting stagnant on the market, now is the time to give it an energetic lift. Any edge in today's market is a good one, and feng shui provides some easy ways to invite a buyer into your home.
- Energetic Curb Appeal
Start by welcoming your buyer even before they reach the front door. Trim back overhanging or blocking shrubbery and trees to create an easy pathway to the door. Make sure the numbers of the home are clearly visible, both on the house and the mailbox.Make a fabulous front door: one that really stands out and catches the eye. Paint or stain the door a bolder, darker color than the body and trim of the house. New hardware will update the door as well. If you have the space, place matching planters with bright flowers on either side of the door. On a wide front porch, a bench gives an open-arms welcome and signals "there's a place for you here."
A welcome mat is a must. Use one that is at least as wide as the front door. Avoid the postage stamp size and give your buyer a good landing pad from which to launch into the house. If you have a double door, then use a double-sized mat, even if only one side of the door opens. You want to make this critical first impression of the house seem as large as possible.
Don't send any immediate maintenance signals to a buyer. Be sure that walkways are not cracked and paint looks fresh on the house. Replace the front door or mailbox if needed and, of course, wash those windows.
- Room of First Impression
In my experience, this is the room that can sell the house. This is the first room encountered and sets the tone and feeling for the entire home. Leave a large opening in the furniture arrangement to make it easy for the buyer to enter the room. Avoid building energetic walls with the back of a couch or other large blocking pieces of furniture.One mistake that is often made in this regard is over-staging. You are not selling furniture and décor objects, you are selling the space. So be sure that you do not have so much furniture that it overwhelms or distracts from the space itself. Being able to move about the room easily makes the buyer feel at home. Bumping into or tripping over things sends the wrong message.
Light and color can really make a difference here. Make sure that window coverings are pulled back and valances lifted so that windows look as large as possible. If the room is small, paint an accent wall across from the entry. You can lift the feeling of a low ceiling by painting it a lighter color than the walls of the room or using up-lighting.
If there is a view from this room, create an easy path up to the windows. Reflect this view in with a mirror or artwork in reflective glass. This will enhance the selling point of the view and enlarge the perception of the room.
- The Master Bedroom Is A Bedroom
The master bedroom is very important in making the buyer feel at home. It should present as a bedroom, not a workout space, an office, or storage area. Clear this room of anything that does not say bedroom. Make sure the bed and bedside tables are proportionate to the room.Only the head of the bed should be against a wall. This is also the best wall to paint as an accent wall to open up the room and give the bed more support. Fresh linens and a bedspread will perk things up. Avoid anything with faces, words, or sports images in the master bedroom. If your buyer is not of the same mind, it will turn them away.
- Enliven Buyer Energy
In feng shui, the near right corner of the home or inside a room in the home holds the buyer or benefactor energy. You can enhance this with the placement of many different feng shui objects. For example, hang a wind chime up under the eaves of the front right corner of the house to call in the buyer. If you live in a windy area, you don't want to emphasize that fact with a clanging chime, so substitute a windsock or flag.A fountain with the flow directed into, not out of, the home will also increase the flow of energy. It can be placed in the entry, or in the room that sits in the front right on the house.
The best placement for your For Sale sign is also in the buyer/benefactor area. This is the right front of the property at right angles to the street, if at all possible. If you live in an area that requires the sign to be adhered to the house itself, use the right front third of the home. Many times this falls on the front of the garage. Be sure this kind of sign is hung higher than eye level. Looking up lifts your energy, while looking down lowers it. Apply this principle when placing your house numbers as well.
- Conscious Staging
Using feng shui to consciously stage your home will insure that the energy is welcoming and does not turn away prospective buyers. Look at your home objectively, as something you are selling rather than a place for your own comfort. De-clutter and pack away your collections and personal mementos and allow good flow and circulation throughout the home. The house is a container of energy. You want the container you are selling to feel large, airy, light, and welcoming for its new owner.
- Letting Go
Last, but not least, is that you have to let go. Release your attachment to this property and look forward to what the sale will do for you. If you free up the energy in the home it will make it easier for the buyer to claim it for themselves. It is so much easier if the buyer does not have to push or uproot you from the space. Take a little piece of the foundation of the house and toss it into a stream, river, or body of water. Let it flow away from you and let your future manifest.
Christine Ayres is a Feng Shui Consultant with twenty years of experience. She lived and worked in Hong Kong for many years. Ms. Ayres is the author of "Feng Shui for the Garden" in Llewellyn's 2007 Moon Sign Book and co-author of Sell Your Home with Feng Shui, A Complete Guide to Staging Homes for Quick Sale in Any Market.
Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2009. All rights reserved.