What's Feng Shui Staging?

At its heart, feng shui staging involves adjusting a place's energy and enhancing the perception of space, often done by reconsidering furniture placement, said Christine Ayres, who co-wrote the book "Sell Your Home with Feng Shui." Visit the book's Web site.

It's a technique that has been around for hundreds -- and some say thousands -- of years, she said. And while the concept has long thrived in China, it's only recently that it has been embraced in the United States.

A home with a good flow of energy is one that makes someone feel comfortable immediately; a home without it, on some level, makes a person want to leave, she said. Feng shui can also be used to create a clear path to a home's "room of first impression," the room that will make the biggest impact on a buyer, Ayres added.

"Most Realtors are very open to it. They're going to use any tool possible to help market the property," she said. There's also little cost involved, she added.

Some tips to consider for those who want to try using feng shui to sell their home:

* Furniture shouldn't be placed in the direct path of the entrance of the room, said Cynthia Chomos, a feng shui consultant, speaker, teacher and founder of the Feng Shui School for Real Estate Sales, in Seattle. For example, if the back of a couch faces a room's entrance, the piece of furniture can cause a person to "ping pong" back to the door, Ayres said.

* Chomos also advised having a solid wall of support behind a key piece of furniture -- a rule that makes it a bad idea to place a bed under a bedroom window.

* The front door, "the mouth of the house" should get special attention because "it's where the house inhales its vitality and brings in the buyer," Ayres said. Spruce it up with a fresh coat of paint, replace scratched hardware or frame the door with matching pots, which has the visual effect of widening the door, she said.

* If potted plants flank the house, the plants shouldn't have sharp, pointed leaves, Chomos said. A plant such as a palm can appear aggressive and ward buyers off, and "the last thing we want are sharp points pointing at (a buyer's) stomach," she said.

* Ayres also suggests hanging a wind chime at the front, right corner of the home. That area is the buyer's area, she said, where decisions regarding the sale might be made.

Excerpt Source: Amy Hoak From MarketWatch - Wall Street Journal Online August 28, 2007.