Sell Your Home - Five Feng Shui Mistakes to Avoid

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Selling your home? Feng Shui -- the ancient art of design and placement -- may help. It provides specific guidelines that can make your home seem more welcoming, comfortable, and attractive. Many homeowners break at least one of these five Feng Shui rules. Improve your home's appearance -- and its appeal to buyers -- by checking it against this short list. Visible clutter Clutter is never charming and it never helps a house to look "lived in". Clutter attracts and conceals dust and dirt. Home buyers know this. Clutter is one of the most common violations of Feng Shui principles. Your home should never remind a buyer of a "hoarders" TV show... not even a little. Clutter makes a home look overcrowded. Whether the buyer is moving up to a larger house, or down scaling now that the kids have grown up and moved out, space and storage are major concerns. On your own, or with a home organization specialist, go through every room in your home. Don't skip the attic or the basement. Find every morsel of clutter and either put it in its rightful place, or get it out of your home. Hidden clutter When visitors or home buyers are expected, some people think they can hide the clutter. To do so, they break every Feng Shui rule in the book. They shove dirty laundry under the bed. They cram junk into every available closet and drawer. Crowded attics and basements become even more overloaded. These tactics rarely fool anyone, and they're especially dangerous when you're selling your home. A nosy home buyer may open your oven, especially if it's staying with the house. If they see a stack of dirty dishes in the oven, they may wonder what else you are hiding, and if it affects the value of the house. Don't make that mistake. If you don't have the time or will power to get clutter out of your house, put it into boxes and take them to a storage unit at least a mile away from your home. (Clutter that's too conveniently near your home will find its way back. Move the clutter out, and keep it out, at least until you sell the house.) Things where they don't belong People aren't comfortable when objects are left in places where they don't belong. It doesn't matter how clean and tidy the area looks, if objects are in the wrong place, they must be put away. Feng Shui also suggests that each area of the home should serve a particular purpose. When you blur the lines, or leave things where they don't belong, you lose a sense of order and tranquility in your home. If you are using your kitchen table for your home-based business, invest in a desk or worktable. Place it in a part of the house that is dedicated to your business. Your freshly washed laundry may be neatly folded on your dining room table, but the laundry must be moved before your realtor arrives with prospective buyers. Here's a Feng Shui tip: Go through your home with a clipboard and write down everything that seems to be out of place or in need of repair. Assign those chores to members of your family, or hire a student eager to earn a little extra money. Do your best to complete the cleaning and reorganizing as soon as possible. Dirt Especially in homes with children and pets, dirt can build up steadily. Because the dirt accumulated slowly, you may not notice it. This is especially true of light switches, refrigerator and freezer doors, and the floor in front of the refrigerator. Pets leave their own marks throughout house. Does your cat or dog likes to rub against a particular corner, or scratch a door or patch of carpet? You may be so used to it, you don't notice the dirt and damage. Repair it. Toddlers can also leave fingerprints and spills around the home. Your middle school child or teen may leave cracker crumbs around the sofa cushions. Adults frequently intend to clean up rings on furniture left by coffee mugs or beverages, but forget. These kinds of dirt are easily overlooked. At least once a week, go around the house with a damp, soapy towel and clean off surfaces that accumulate dirt and fingerprints. Habitual dirt can be connected to self-esteem issues. That's what some forms of Feng Shui claim. Others believe that lingering dirt is like an anchor. It prevents people from moving forward to a happier future. Too much or too little light In Feng Shui, balance is essential. Extremes are avoided. This includes too much or too little light. Many homeowners think that a dark room looks cozy. This is especially true in cold climates. Dark rooms can seem stuffy and make home buyers feel uneasy. They wonder if the dim lighting is deliberate and hiding something. Instead, use sheer and light-colored curtains to welcome light through your windows. Add extra indirect lighting as necessary. Paint the walls a pale color, or use white and pastel slipcovers on your furniture. At the other extreme, a room with too much light can feel as if there is no privacy. In Feng Shui, one solution is to add medium and dark colored wooden furniture or accessories. Rich, jewel-toned throw pillows or accents can also offset excessive brightness. Use light bulbs in softer colors, or with lower wattage. Light-concealing curtains or drapes can also help. These are the top five Feng Shui mistakes that can prevent your home from selling. Check for clutter, dirt, and lighting throughout your home. With a clean, orderly, attractive home, you'll be miles ahead of the competition.