There are two factors that need to be in place first to sell a home. Before you invest time and money in a lot of other efforts, be certain these are handled:
1. Price your home correctly: Most of the houses I’ve seen that had trouble selling were priced above market value, and often significantly above. This can be a tough one if the market is lower than it was when you bought the house, or if you’ve added a lot of improvements and want to recoup your investment. Take an honest look at what’s true in your neighborhood, and the buyers you can reach, and price your home accordingly. Remember, if it sits on the market for a few months, this means additional cost for you to keep maintaining it, as well as the stress of constantly having a house on the market. If you have a uniquely valuable place that is really worth a higher price tag, look specifically at who the buyers are who would see the value you see and have the money to make it theirs. You can also have a conversation with your accountant about the pros and cons of different pricing scenarios for your overall financial picture.
2. Realtor Support: Is your realtor doing an adequate job of supporting a successful sale? This points out the value of not only having a competent realtor, but choosing one you have a good rapport with, because the two of you are going to be doing a lot of communicating while the house is for sale. Your realtor needs to understand you in addition to understanding how to sell a house in your area. Take a good look at, and also periodically review, any web listings and any other way in which your house sale information has been made available for the public. How accessible is the information? Is it 100% accurate? Do photos present the best aspects of your property, without being misleading? Is the advertising reaching the right viewers? If you’re not happy with what you find, communicate your needs with your realtor – remember, they’re working for you, and they stand to gain from any improvements that result in a sale. If you are acting as your own realtor, find a successful realtor you like and see what they do, and replicate that as much as you can.
The Practical Side – Feng Shui Basics for Selling Your Home
Clutter Clearing: Clearing out clutter is absolutely one of the best things you can do. Whether or not you choose to professionally stage your home, clearing clutter will accomplish many important results.
First, it improves the look of the place and breaks up stagnant energy. Corners filled with papers, luggage, unsorted boxes, etc. will dam up energy that really need to be ‘in the flow’, because it is that ‘flow’ that a new owner will ride in on.
Second, it starts to release your personal stamp of energy in the property. Humans are territorial just like any animal, and we all claim our turf through our energy patterns as well as our locks and fences. Clutter clearing literally breaks up these patterns, which allows for something new to come in. When a prospective buyer comes into a clutter-cleared space it will be easier for them to imagine and feel it as their new home because their energy isn’t competing with yours.
The third point is an aspect of the second: What you clear away you are completing in the process. Everything you have is some kind of work in progress, or is associated with something that is or was significant to you. As books, clothing, old tools, high school trophies, are given away or tossed, it’s an ending of something you’ve had your energy invested in to some degree. This means that a lot of energy that was tied up in the investment is going to return to you making you better able to move forward to a new chapter in your life.
Clutter clearing, as mundane as it sounds, is magic. Keep it real though, and don’t eliminate something just to create space if you’re not actually done with it. Just find the best place to put it to support the energetic flow of the property while the home is for sale.
Staging the Home: Staging is a common practice. Often a professional stager is hired to make each room look sparkly clean, open and inviting to potential home buyers. Furniture may be moved so that it looks like it’s just waiting for the new owners to step in, sit down and make themselves at home.
A bouquet of flowers here and there adds to the ambience of welcoming loveliness. Of course, the staging will fit the style of the home and aesthetics of particular buyers, but generally the intent of staging is to make it easy to imagine how livable and wonderful this new home would be. Furniture and other belongs that make a place too crowded, or make the presence of the current owner too visible, will be removed if possible. Sometimes items that are unique in value or interest may be removed simply because they compete for the buyer’s interest and take away attention from the house itself.
If you want a home to look staged but don’t want to hire a professional, both your realtor and multiple online resources should be able to give you lots of helpful tips and examples.
If you’re packing boxes as you go, put them as out of the way as you can, and keep the area looking organized and neat. If possible, keep packed boxes in a garage, or off-site storage.
Safety and Good Repair: Various assessors who come thru a sale home to check on its soundness will generally catch problems with wiring, mold, or other safety issues. It pays to have professionals who absolutely know what they are doing because things do get missed and sometimes with bad consequences for the buyer. For the integrity of the sale, it is important that all inspections done at the time of a house listing or sale, are as thorough as possible. Attend to any safety issues you are aware of, no matter how minor. Even “small” problems like a loose brick in a walkway, or dodgy wooden step, can be felt as instability. Subliminally, this creates an unsure feeling the prospective buyers may pick up on, and this is true whether or not anyone was ever hurt by whatever’s not in good repair. Buyers want solidity, security, and the best support they can get for their next chapter of life. If you’re not able to fix something do disclose the issue to a buyer.
Chi Flow: To a great extent, good staging will incorporate good “Chi Flow”. You can think of “Chi” as good energy, or life supporting energy that flows like wind or water through a property. Whether or not a home is for sale, this energy should be able to freely flow into the home thru the front door, and move smoothly throughout the home, nourishing all areas. Positioning of furniture, potted plants, whether or not there are parked vehicles in front of a property or in a driveway, can help or hamper chi flow.
When a home is for sale, it’s an advantage to have more of this flow than usual. The clutter clearing that removed extra storage, unused items, and so forth, and the staging that pared down the furnishings and arranged everything for inviting access, has all helped to increase the beneficial chi flow. It’s especially good to keep the corners of rooms free so that stagnant energy isn’t collecting up there. Keep hallways clear as well.
The same principles apply outdoors as well, so make sure barbecue equipment, or whatever else you may have out there, is well out of the way of walkways for someone touring the yard.
The Technology “Buzz”: For the safety effects of any electromagnetic “Buzz” that may be present in the home, have a qualified independent electrician, or better yet an EMF safety expert, come and check out the integrity of the electrical system of your home. Often it’s ordinary wiring problems that can create actual hazard, as well as a buzz that is harmful to health. It’s better yet if they’re able to check for the strength of radio frequency fields as well as electromagnetic fields.
Wireless networks, transformers plugged in, security systems, flat screen TVs, etc. each contributes to a background buzz in the electromagnetic field. As accustomed as most of us are at this point to this sensation, it does create stagnant and sometimes uncomfortable energy fields. Many people say that they don’t sense these fields, but there are quite a few who do feel it. Reduce the buzz as much as you can by eliminating or unplugging every device that doesn’t need to be in use as buyers tour the property. The better a person feels on a property, the more likely they are to want to live there.
The Chemical “Buzz”: Store all cleaning or gardening products with any kind of chemical or perfumed odor in a way that eliminates or minimizes any odor. Eliminate room fresheners or other synthetic scents as well. Many people either will not like the scents you like, or may have an adverse reaction to them, and this can be true for essential oils as well. When you can, air out the building to freshen up the air and increase the chi flow. You could add in a negative ion generator to increase a feeling of well being, but don’t bring in any kind of ozone machine because it can have adverse health effects used incorrectly.
The Subtle Side of Feng Shui – Are the “Flying Stars” Supporting You?
In addition to all the practical outer aspects of Feng Shui, there is a more subtle side that is not discernible to the eye. This is not to say that because it’s subtle it’s not powerful: obstructions in the energetic side often have a big influence over the quality of energy in a building and whether or not it’s likely to sell. For instance, there are subtle influences from the Flying Stars (energetic qualities that combine in each area of a home based on when it was built and what direction it is oriented to) that can increase money flow or slow it down considerably. Similarly there are energies in different directional areas of the home that can support the addition of new people. i.e. new buyers, or discourage it. These energies are also either conducive to good health, or may indicate a diminished support for health. Each property is unique in this regard, and every year also has it’s own particular contribution to the energies. If these hindering energies are present in the direction where the front door is, a sale can be more unlikely. If there is either a “lock on money” or “lock on people and health” at the center of the house, this can be corrected with a specific remedy.
To determine if there are any subtle energetics that are helping or hindering, an analysis and set of recommendations from a trained Compass School (often called Flying Stars) Feng Shui professional would be required. If you want to be ultra proactive in your home selling strategy, this analysis would be an important action to take at the beginning. Likewise, if your house has been on the market and has not been selling and you’ve done all the right things, this overview may reveal where the blocks are. The Five Element and other remedies used in this case are generally quite simple to implement, and have no or little cost.
The Personal Side of Selling a House
The personal aspect of selling a home can be as important and influential as all the other outer and energetic aspects. A house, a home, reverberates with all the emotional associations we have with the life we have lived there. Sometimes there are hidden emotional ties that can slow down a sale. There are three in particular that come up the most frequently:
1. Feelings left over from either very wonderful or very difficult experiences. Leaving a house can feel like leaving a part of one’s being in either case.
Several years ago a couple approached me to help them sell their beautiful home, which was situated on the side of a hill with a gorgeous view. As desirable as it appeared to be, they had no buyers after several months on the market. Interviewing them revealed that they had suffered a family tragedy while living there, something they had not fully been able to recover from although they had certainly worked at it. I described some simple interventions that should help to harmonize the energy field in the house to help to dissipate the energies of sadness and loss that had taken residence. A Pulsor® Vortex Filter was installed, and a few Emethy® energetic remedies were placed in different rooms, particularly a formula for Trauma. Within a few days the couple reported that the house felt very different to them, lighter and freer, and they felt a personal shift along with this. In a short while the house was sold.
Attachment is a tangible thing, and I think we’re sometimes prevented from moving elsewhere until something within us is truly in a healing mode first. We tend to think that if we can let go of something from the past that this is the key to making a shift. This is true, but there’s an environmental side to this equation that is generally hidden.
Whenever one or more people feel something intensely or for a long time in a place, they are generating a specific energetic pattern that will stay present in the environment unless something comes along to change it. We’ve all been somewhere and felt a “mood” in a room, from feelings of upliftment and devotion perhaps in a church, a downtrodden feeling in a shelter, joy in a baby’s room, and so forth. If you could see it visually it would look like some variation on a geometric pattern with areas of density, confusion or clear forms, beautiful or muddy colors. We feel these energies and they reinforce our thoughts and emotions about something from our lives. If the pattern is shifted by some kind of feng shui intervention or other positive influence, habitual thoughts and feelings are no longer reinforced by that energy field. *We tend to identify with what we feel often in our bodies!* It really helps us to complete an inner experience and release an attachment to a place when the stuck patterns are replaced by harmonious ones.
2. The dreams that didn’t manifest. As she prepared to leave a home in which her marriage had ended in divorce, a friend of mine remarked that it wasn’t so much the marriage she felt she was leaving behind if she moved out of the house, but the “dream” of the marriage, everything that a marriage and happy home had symbolized for her. She felt she was giving up on the dream if she moved.
Whatever dreams you may have had for your life, it’s good to actually name them, because in naming them they start to lose their hold on your psyche and sense of personal potential. And, when you name them you can begin to evaluate them and discover whether a hidden belief about a personal dream is actually true (or still true) for you, or if it’s just a belief. This kind of discernment can free one from staying stuck in a particular place both figuratively and literally.
3. Concern about who the new owner will be. If a property has been a very special place for you, or if it is a place that you wish to be cared for in a particular way, there is a filtering of any potential buyer unless they meet your very particular criteria for acceptability. There’s actually nothing wrong with this per se, and sometimes what we are doing as we move is to pass the baton of care into new hands. What doesn’t work is if your requirements for the new owner are not consciously stated. If you know who you are looking for, then all marketing efforts can be directed towards those special buyers who will appreciate and carry forward the specialness of the property. It’s not guaranteed that you will indeed find the “right” person, but you’re in a better position if you know the type of buyer you want to attract. Sometimes that special buyer doesn’t appear, but other possibilities will make themselves known. Whatever happens, it’s easier to move on if you have tried your best to manifest the outcome you want.
If you’re not sure if you have a hidden attachment or concern about the sale of your house, imagine it sold, and be aware of the feelings that come up for you after you imagine this. Anything that pops up that doesn’t feel entirely comfortable could be showing you something that needs your attention.
Moving On, The Transformation
With every step you take towards the sale of your home, with every piece of clutter you clear, every memory reviewed, every inspection, every moment shared with people who come to help clean or pack (or whatever your process is), comes more completion and clarity. As with any major transition in life, every step of the process is an integral part of a transformation. Who you will be as you step into the next phase of your life, is not who you were – you are more, for you will carry forward the value of everything you experienced in the place you are saying goodbye to. As you move through these transformative steps, your energy naturally starts to withdraw itself from this place you’ve called home, and just as naturally begins to inhabit your new home, your new life. As your energy moves on, there’s a vacancy in the building that is an open invitation to the new owners, whose turn it is to live there. It’s an organic as well as a methodical process. When we engage in this process using our mind, our imagination, or feelings, our bodies, and our “relational” selves as we interact with a realtor and others, this “total” involvement facilitates a smoother sale of the house, plus a deep support for completion and a great start in your new home.
Holland Franklin is a “Flying Stars” Compass School Feng Shui Practitioner
Feng Shui for your home or business: 800 563 5501