YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Feng Shui

Little Touches Can Help Home Sell


Question: We have had our house on the market for some time now. It is priced well, and we have had a couple of offers that did not end up in escrow. How can I use feng shui to help expedite the sale of my home?


Anaheim Hills

Answer: Marie Lewis in Studio City is also asking for feng shui suggestions for a friend who's had her home on the market for quite a while.

Preparing any home for sale and creating good feng shui are really similar. In both cases you need to make the home as inviting and attractive as possible. Take a good look at your place and evaluate it as a stranger might.

Starting on the outside, is everything fresh-looking and in good repair? You want to achieve what Realtors sometimes call "curb appeal"--a yard and exterior that attract people the moment they see it. If anything needs to be repaired, take care of it right away (the first step in creating good feng shui under any circumstance).

Spruce up your yard and plant colorful flowers or put several pots of blooming plants near the front door. Reds, purples and yellow are good choices because the reds and purples will attract money and the yellow flowers (the color of relationships) will give the place a cheerful and homey feel. The combination of these colors will also be quite eye-catching (there's that curb appeal).

If the exterior of your home doesn't get much light, hang wind chimes (gentle tinkling, no loud clanging) to attract more chi.

Inside, the first order of business is to clear out any clutter and make the place as neat and orderly as possible. Clutter is bad feng shui because it blocks chi and sucks the energy out of your home.

Plus, a messy house can be plain old depressing and distasteful to someone who is trying to envision living in it. You don't have to be a feng shui master to know that a home with no energy and a depressing atmosphere will remain unsold for a long time.

If you were thinking of repainting or adding new carpets, choose neutral colors. Brightly colored paint or carpeting or distinctively patterned wallpaper makes it harder for prospective buyers to see much else. It will also be easier to create feng shui enhancements by offsetting neutral shades with pillows, cozy throws, fresh flowers and other accessories chosen with an eye toward selling your home.

If your home has fallen out of escrow, you might want to create enhancements on a north (business success) wall by using water (table fountains or even beautiful seascapes or lake views) and the color black or deep blue.

Attract more prospective buyers using a combination of the color gray and the number six in the northwest--the section of the ba gua governing benefactors and helpful people generally.

And it certainly couldn't hurt to energize the wealth area in the southeast by using purple and the number four. This enhancement can be as simple as a vase of irises or as elaborate as your imagination allows.

Make your choices in accordance with the existing decor and the goals that make the most sense for your particular home sale situation. Never use feng shui enhancements at the expense of the overall decor of the room.

Be especially careful to neutralize sha chi (poison arrows) that will have an adverse affect on those who live in the home and those who may be thinking of buying it. Place trailing or hanging plants where they will cover any sharp angles cutting into a room.

Add green plants to bathrooms and put a grow light in dark rooms or rooms with no windows so you can use healthy living plants to activate the chi.

Two other tips for good feng shui and assistance in selling your home:

Keep all toilet lids closed so money won't be flushed out of the house (and deals out of escrow). And turn on the lights in every room to encourage lively chi flow and to brighten the look of your home.

Defining Home's Space and Shape

Q: In feng shui, is the space of a house or apartment defined solely by its outer walls or do we include attached spaces, such as a covered patio or decks outside a room?


Via e-mail

A: The space of your home includes all living areas, attached or unattached--garages, decks, patios and so on.

Pay attention to the principles of feng shui as you arrange your patio, deck or even your garage.

But the shape of your home, for the purposes of reading the ba gua chart, includes just the outer walls.

For example, if you live in an L-shaped house, you'd want to get out your compass to determine the direction of the "missing corner," then look at a ba gua chart to see what life aspect is missing.

You have a number of options for "replacing" the missing portion of the building, including planting a tree or shrub on the spot or adding a rock garden, carriage lamp or anything that suits your taste and makes sense for that area of your property.

Kirsten Lagatree is a Washington, D.C., writer whose books include "Feng Shui, Arranging Your Home to Change Your Life" (Villard 1996) and "Feng Shui at Work, Arranging Your Work Space for Peak Performance and Maximum Profit" (Villard 1998).

Mail your questions on feng shui to Kirsten Lagatree, Real Estate section, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053, fax them to (213) 237-4712, or e-mail them to or

All questions will be considered for use but cannot be answered individually.

Los Angeles Times Articles