By Christopher M. Leporini, REALTOR® Magazine
Rearranging furniture and redecorating rooms are common practices when staging homes. But can a different room layout actually energize a home and make it a better place to live? Practitioners of the 3,000-year-old art of Feng Shui (pronounced Fung Shway) believe it can. This ancient Chinese discipline seeks to create harmony through the arrangement of objects. Placing walls, plants, and furniture in certain patterns can create a positive flow of chi (energy) throughout a home and may increase a home’s marketability. Sell Your Home Faster with Feng Shui ($15.95, Dragon Chi Publications, 2001) teaches you how it can be done.
Although geared toward consumers, Sell Your Home Faster with Feng Shui can still prove useful to real estate professionals who are just becoming acquainted with the art. If you already have a passing knowledge of the subject, you probably won’t uncover anything new here. Section One and the appendixes of the book outline Feng Shui’s basic philosophies and vocabulary, while Section Two explains how to put Feng Shui philosophies into practice. Section Three is geared strictly to consumers, explaining the basics of the real estate sales transaction to novice homesellers.
Real estate professionals will probably get the most use out of Section Two, which concentrates on Feng Shui’s practical applications for real estate. The art is rooted in solid aesthetic principles that focus on balance, simplicity, and order. Although much of the advice—such as eliminating clutter to make a room more appealing—is hardly news, the book includes several other tips that might spark fresh ideas on how to stage a home:
- Balance any rigid lines along outdoor walkways with meandering plants and colorful flowerpots to create a more inviting pathway into your home.
- Drape cloths over sofas, tables, or other furniture with hard, angular, or pointy corners. This softens the hard edges and produce a less stiff, formal feel.
- Hang crystals or mirrors to form a pleasant visual effect and direct the flow of energy throughout the house.
Even if you don’t buy into Feng Shui’s metaphysical side, it’s worth developing at least a casual knowledge of the subject. The ancient art is gaining mainstream appeal in many parts of the country so you might well encounter a buyer whose decision will be influenced by its principles. Feng Shui can also help you start thinking about how to create an inviting interior during showings. You don’t have to believe in chi to appreciate the aesthetic advantages of a well-balanced, orderly home.