(This is Part 3 of a four-part series.

(This is Part 3 of a four-part series. See Part 1: Simple tasks make real estate an easy sell, Part 2: Home staging works real estate miracles and Part 4: Real estate agents sell ‘lucky’ houses.)

Why would one of the most successful owner brokers in the country put an anvil under his bed and a horse trough in back of his multimillion-dollar home? His response is, it saved his business $400,000 in just one day. If you would like to sell more listings in less time, it’s time to learn more about one of the hottest trends in the country–”Feng Shui.”

According to my friends who sell real estate in Beverly Hills, Calif., approximately 20 percent of all buyers and sellers now invite a “Feng Shui” expert in to assist them in either preparing their home for sale or selecting the right home to purchase. While some people may consider this superstitious, thousands of others swear by the results.

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese belief system based upon “earth signs” to determine areas prone to flood or subject to damaging winds. Feng Shui strives to create balance in both our personal and professional environments by balancing the five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Feng Shui experts also consider how “Chi” (energy) moves in a home based on a variety of factors. According to Shawne Mitchell of Village Realtors in Montecito, Calif., a Feng Shui master begins by evaluating the position of your home. Some important questions to ask are:

1. If the home is sited on a hill, which way does it face? Are the mountains behind the home? Avoid properties located in flood plains or fire hazard areas.

2. Does the front door face a river, lake or ocean? Having water near your home is favorable, provided the water flows towards the house rather than away from it.

3. Notice the nearby roads and their relation to the home’s position. Homes located at the end of a cul de sac or in other locations where there is too much “Chi” flowing towards them, should be avoided.

4. Are the sizes and shapes of the neighboring homes and/or buildings compatible with the home? What kinds of buildings are located nearby? Could they impact the property adversely? If so, these homes should also be avoided.

Feng Shui experts also consider your home’s surroundings. Some important questions to ask include:

1. Are the sizes and shapes of the neighboring homes and/or buildings compatible with the home? What kinds of buildings are located nearby? Could they impact the property adversely?

2. Is there good exposure to sunlight? If trees and shrubs are overgrown, trim them away from the structure. Any plant that blocks the walkway to the front door should also be trimmed.

3. Are the trees and shrubs around the home healthy? Healthy plants and trees are part of the constructive or “building” part of the Feng Shui cycle, which attracts abundance and positive outcomes. In contrast, dead landscaping represents the “destructive” cycle that creates poor luck and poor outcomes.

4. Is the property located near transmission towers or electrical transformers? If so, these will disturb the “Chi” and should be avoided.

A third issue to consider is the balance between the aforementioned “five elements”: earth, fire, metal, water, and wood. According to www.circle-of-light.com/fengshui/:

“These aren’t literally elements but qualities, constantly overcoming each other in a continuous cycle. It can be a creative and productive relationship; woods fuels fire, fire burns to ash or earth; earth gives minerals and metals; when heated, metal flows like water; and water nourishes wood. In the destructive and/or negative relationship: wood takes nutrients from the earth; earth pollutes or absorbs water; water kills fire; fire melts metal and metal chops wood.”

Creating balance in a property attracts abundance and desirable outcomes. When the five elements are out of balance, money drips away and unfavorable results occur. To learn more about how to balance the five elements and the “Chi” in your listings and your homes, look for next Friday’s column.

Special thanks to Shawne Mitchell of Village Realtors in Montecito, Calif., whose three books on Feng Shui provided the basis of this article.

Bernice Ross is an owner of Realestatecoach.com and can be reached at bernice@realestatecoach.com.

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