By Elaine VonCannon, ABR, SRES, Associate Broker, Notary, Team Leader, Property Manager, Award Winning Agent
In a competitive real estate market, home sellers are looking for the edge to make their home sell fast. Feng Shui, or the ancient Chinese art of placement, is one answer. Jaan Ferree, a Feng Shui consultant based in Asheville, North Carolina, explains. that Feng Shui is "having the intention to pay attention" to your environment.
I recently asked Jaan for a few Feng Shui pointers to help the home seller find a buyer faster. Here are some of her Feng Shui ideas for the home seller.
Jaan Ferree suggests taking a closer look at the house number and position on the block. As a buyer approaches the home is it easy to tell he or she is at the right place? Is the number of the home visible?
Front Door and Approach
Make sure the entrance to your home is easily discernable. If the entrance is not the front door, is it obvious to the visitor where they enter? Is the walk from the car to the door safe, well defined, well lit, and attractive?
Ferree says the front porch, door, and threshold should be welcoming and have a "greeter". Use a pot of geraniums, other flowers or plants, a statue, or an attractive welcome mat. She also suggests a beautiful color on the door, wind chime, basket hung on the wall beside the door, plaque beside the door or other plants or objects which will "lift the chi" (energy) of the person approaching the entrance to the home. Finally, a clear bell or doorknocker, to let someone know you are there, is always helpful.
Trim the Bushes
Make certain shrubbery and landscaping is not overgrown. If it is, the energy may have the effect of "pushing the person away" who is approaching the entrance to the home. The best plants to line the edge of the walkway have soft round corners. Avoid sharp pointed plants or objects.
Once you enter the home the space inside the door should be clear of clutter and obstructions. If there is a wall directly across from the entrance Ferree says that placing a mirror or art on the wall will lift the chi tremendously. This Feng Shui treatment makes sense because it prevents your visitor from walking into a blank wall. It also makes something visible that will immediately lift the spirits of your guest.
Ferree suggests paying close attention to the "subtle environmental clues" in the interior of the home to make sure that you are not pushing someone away with the objects in the space, or making them have to "get smaller" to walk through the space.
In addition to aiding in lifting the energy of a space, Feng Shui can also reflect simple common sense. Safety, both real and perceived, is extremely important. Ferree recommends, "Pick up any items strewn about the yard and make sure all walkways and stepping stones and steps are level. Good lighting is essential, too. It must be easy to walk through the interior and exterior of the house without obstruction."
According to Ferree, "clutter will keep a house from selling for many different reasons, one of which says the person does not attend to the upkeep of the home." Clutter collects stagnant energy and brings the feeling of the space down.
The two kinds of clutter are passive and active. Examples of active clutter are scattered children's toys in a living room, or brushes, paints and accessories in an artist's studio. Passive clutter is piles of things which have not been put away, thrown away or recycled.
Positive Energy Keeps Guests Happy
Ferree has some ideas on how to invite positive "chi" (energy) into your home. Spread smells, such as vanilla, cinnamon, or citrus throughout the home. Consider the lighting, colors and color arrangements and clarity of a space. Work on design enhancements that welcome visitors to your space and invite them to stay a while.
Ferree has one piece of final advice that applies to many situations. "Your home tells a story about you" she says, "People read the story every time they visit your space. Be aware of that and put your best self forward."