I have several friends whose homes I love to visit. The minute I walk through the door at one of these homes, a feeling of warmth and peace envelops me that says, “Hey, welcome, make yourself comfortable.”
This feeling can be called “chi,” an energy flow throughout a certain area or structure. Specific placement of objects creates a certain “current” of energy that sparks the minute one enters the home. This is very important when selling a property. The feel or energy can either welcome a buyer to the home or turn off the interest in a heartbeat.
Susie Denton has been selling property for 23 years in the Newport Beach area. She uses her knowledge of feng shui to give homes an extra boost and increase their selling power. Her own nature – full of vibrancy and happy energy – also holds a deep center of calm that I’m sure was cultivated through her knowledge of the ancient art of feng shui. She let me in on several secrets that can give a warm and cozy feel buyers are looking to find in a home.
Q: What is Feng Shui?
A: Developed in China over 3,000 years ago, it is an ancient art and science that reveals how to balance the energies of any certain space such as a home, to assure the health and good fortune for those living in it. Feng means wind and shui means water and in the Chinese culture these are associated with good luck. It’s all about the flow of chi, energy inside and outside the home.
Q: The first important step in Feng Shui?
A: Feng Shui is about flow, good energy, harmony. Having too much of your stuff about imbues the home with your daily living. Think of this: when you are preparing to sell your house the less personal or used you make your house look, the better. Removing clutter and everyday living items such as kid’s toys, paperwork, mail, allows energy to move freely and not bog down and create a stuffy feeling. It also gives the buyer the ability to picture themselves in the house when all your personal items are gone.
Q: Is Feng Shui limited to just inside the home?
A: Not at all. In fact, the flow of the home outside is the first thing people will see and first impressions are very important. Go outside and get a big overview of your home. Be objective, look at it as a product you are putting on the shelf to sell. Quickly jot down all the thoughts and first impressions about your house that come to mind in the first 2-3 minutes. Do not censor the information or get defensive; the more open you are to criticism, the better off you are when presenting your house.
Q: What do I look for then?
A: For instance, so many people enter their homes from the garage, they don’t see the front door of the home on a daily basis and that is a very important aspect of feng shui. This, along with windows, is where the major chi energy enters the home. Be sure the walkway is open and inviting and nothing blocking the view to the door. If trees dominate your front yard, make the canopy high enough so you can see the house and bring light into the yard. Sunlight cleans stagnant energy. Also leaves too low to the ground are said to be pressing down and stops the flow of energy. For the Chinese a little water such as fountains or a big rock or vase to add something solid in your landscape makes for strong energy. Curb appeal is very important so providing a comfortable flow from the street to your home invites people in.
Q: You mentioned natural sunlight for outside, but it is important for inside the house as well, yes?
A: Feng Shui focuses on the atmosphere of the home to remain bright with sun during the day to allow good energy to enter the home and to keep the curtains drawn tight at night so that the darkness or negative energy can not enter the home. It says that good energy brings healing and health both spiritually and physically. Keeping a bright good feeling is always good when selling your home. Therefore natural light inside the house is extremely important, letting the good energy or chi inside the house to wash away dead energy and bring in a warm comfortable atmosphere. Before you show the house, open the shades, drapes and window to bring in light. You want as much natural light as possible. To lighten up a dark house, you might need to add solar tubes or skylights. Natural light adds to the good flow of energy in the house and people are more inclined to buy if they feel good.
Q: Where else in the house should I focus on feng shui?
A: There is a very important feng shui energy triangle when getting ready to sell your house. The energy in the kitchen, the bathroom and the bedroom is either making or breaking the house sale. The buyer needs to now they will sleep well, eat well and well, unwind well if they choose to buy your home.
Q: Let’s start with the bedroom. What do I look for?
A: Check out how the bed is situated in the room. The foot of the bed must face the door, but not be directly in the path. Keep it a little offset. In any feng shui situation, you never want your back to the door whether you are sitting or lying in bed. So keep other furniture away from the door as well. And it is considered bad luck if you are lying down and can see the hallway. It means you are not keeping things inside the room – the kindness and love. These are things you want to stay in the room so your love life stays smooth and good. This makes for a comfortable safe atmosphere in the room where the buyer can translate to his own.
Q: For the bathroom, is the feng shui aspect its spa-like quality?
A: Yes. Bathrooms need to have a relaxing and soothing atmosphere. Keep it simple. One very important thing is focusing on removing any clutter such as your personal items. Remember water is a very important element in feng shui and the tub carries the potential for water in the room, a cleansing and purifying affect. Try placing a large mirror behind the tub so it can reflect more water to the room. If there is no tub for the emphasis of water, install a larger shower or even a glass one so the water element speaks more loudly. Imbue the bathroom with a warm feeling via soft lighting. Adding a heating element brings warmth and instills a sanctuary feeling. Create a place to relieve the mind and release all the stress in a well balanced feng shui master bath.
Q: Kitchens are now the focal point of the house. What do you suggest?
A: In feng shui, the kitchen is part of your wealth and prosperity. A kitchen towards the back of the house is best so the energy and the wealth stays in your home and not flow out. This is where nourishment and life is sustained. Have the kitchen organized and not overloaded with gadgets so a harmonious atmosphere is present. Then when food is prepared good chi is surrounding the meal. Feng shui indicates a balanced kitchen leads to a good spirited chef which in turn leads to good energy meals for happy family. Also be sure there are several layers of proper lighting and the kitchen is airy, spacious, clean, bright and welcoming.
Q: What about colors and plants?
A: Colors is the easiest way to change the dynamics of the house. Feng shui incorporates five colors with the five elements of Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. Red, a Fire element, livens up a dead area to make it more inviting such as an entryway or hallway. Yellow, an earth element, is a wonderful color for the kitchen, so add a splash of this color, not in pots or pans, but in yellow flowers or a decorative item. And that’s another thing. Plants bring life to any room. You don’t have to go overboard with lots of them, just place them strategically in rooms that need a little lift in energy.
Denton Properties Group
First Team Estates
4 Corporate Plaza, Suite 100
Newport Beach, CA 92660