The ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui – a popular home design and décor trend in Western culture during the 1990s – seems to be gaining ground in the design world once again. Focused on channelling energy to create balance and harmony in the home environment, Feng Shui practitioners claim to be able to influence not only the health and happiness of a home’s occupants, but their wealth as well.
Cynics, of course, remain dubious about the benefits of Feng Shui, so we were curious to get an opinion from a property expert on this esoteric trend’s potential when it comes to selling a home. Somewhat surprisingly, Tony Clarke, the MD of the Rawson Property Group, was quite positive about sellers incorporating Feng Shui principles into their homes in order to increase the appeal of their property to prospective buyers.
“The fixed, physical ‘bones’ of a property – its size, number of rooms and such – are definitely a major factor when it comes to buyers choosing a home, but you shouldn’t underestimate the less tangible elements that play into that decision as well,” Clarke says. “Atmosphere and energy – the feel of a home – are the key to that X-factor that buyers look out for. You don’t connect emotionally to three bedrooms, but you might connect to a sense of peace, harmony and belonging.” Clarke points out that many classic Feng Shui principles line up neatly with standard advice for preparing your property for a show house. “Creating a good flow of energy often overlaps with creating a good flow for visitors to your home,” he says. “That can be a great way to enhance the first impressions of potential buyers.”
A good example is the importance of the front entrance to your property. According to Feng Shui principles, a beautiful approach to your home attracts positive energy into your space. “From a real estate perspective, it’s also the first thing potential buyers will see,” says Clarke, “It can kick off the viewing experience in very positive – or very negative – way.”
Likewise, Feng Shui encourages you to create a strong, clear flow into your house from the foyer or entryway. This draws the positive energy inside as opposed to reflecting it out your front door. As Clarke explains a well-designed entrance space also creates an enticing atmosphere for people viewing your property. “A home that draws buyers in and makes them want to explore more is off to a very good start,” he says.
Feng Shui also places great importance on the so-called “trinity” – your main bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. These are, coincidentally, extremely important rooms to buyers, and ensuring plenty of light, a feeling of space and as little clutter as possible here is both good Feng Shui and great home staging advice.
“Decreasing clutter in general is a core part of Feng Shui,” says Clarke, “It’s one of the most important elements in preparing your home for a viewing as well. Making all your spaces neat, clean, bright, and as fresh as possible goes a very long way towards increasing the appeal of your home.”
Whether you believe in Feng Shui or not, it seems the discipline certainly has practical applications that translate well into the real estate world. A few pot plants and mirrors, a bit of a clean-up and declutter, and you could be well on your way to better Feng Shui as well as a more successful sale. Perhaps this ancient Chinese art really can help make you happier, healthier and wealthier after all!