If you've ever walked into a house, as a potential buyer, and said: "it just feels right," then you understand the basic principles of Feng Shui. This ancient Chinese practice involves making energetic and physical adjustments to a space in order to create balance and flow. And, in the midst of a recession when selling your house or condo may seem nearly impossible, it may just be the answer to your real estate woes.
"When it comes to selling a house, it takes more than just curb appeal," says Ingrid Hauck, an Ottawa-based Feng Shui consultant, "It takes Chi appeal!"
Chi (or Qi) is the life energy considered, by Chinese philosophy, to be inherent in all things. "Chi flow is achieved when everything is balanced beautifully," says Ingrid, the author of, Feng Shui with Attitude: Jump Start Your Joy. She explains: the decision to buy a house doesn't just come from its ability to meet all of your needs, but also from an intangible feeling — a response to the Chi.
So, before you hang out the For Sale sign, consider the following, do-it-yourself Feng Shui principles.
Set your intention
"When I see a house that’s not selling, the first place I go to is the people," says Ingrid. It is necessary that everyone in the family is clearly intent on selling the house, because lingering doubts can serve as an energy umbilical cord, refusing to let go. Consider writing out your intentions: how much you want the house to sell for, what your bottom-line requirements are, and how quickly you want the house to move, Ingrid suggests. Once your intentions are set, then your own energy won’t hold up the sale.
Fix it up
As any real estate agent will tell you, a rundown house will be a difficult sell. To begin the Feng Shui process you should aim to fix up all glaring problems throughout the house, apply a fresh coat of paint, re-caulk your bathrooms, clean your carpets and ensure all appliances are in working order.
There is nothing more unappealing to a potential buyer than a house full of "stuff" and according to the principles of Feng Shui clutter robs a space of its Chi. "When you walk into a teenager's room you may feel the chaotic energy, like that of a pinball bouncing all over the place," Ingrid says. "That's the feeling a cluttered house will give off." Consider renting a storage unit and get rid of one-third of all your possessions. "Once you clear out excess furniture and decor, you’ll be able to tone down the energy and allow for clarity and focus," she explains.
Focus on the front door
When potential buyers come to see your house, they'll probably enter through the front door. But, if you typically use the garage or even a side door, then the energy around the front entranceway is likely stale. "Positive Chi energy really begins with your front door," says Ingrid. First, get in the habit of using the front door while you’re trying to sell. Then, oil the locks (to ensure nothing sticks) and apply a fresh coat of paint. Ensure that the main foyer is as open and spacious as possible and watch for sharp edges that may be pointing toward visitors as they enter. "In terms of Feng Shui, the front door pertains to the buyer's motivation to make a purchase and how welcome they feel upon entering the home."