If it’s good enough for Donald Trump, it should be good enough for the rest of us. Feng Shui, that is, the ancient Chinese art of placing objects and furniture in homes and positioning buildings to achieve positive energy flow or chi.
The story goes that when Trump lost major Asian clients because of bad Feng Shui in his buildings, he hired a Master to analyze the auspiciousness of the Trump Towers and is reputed now to be a firm believer.
But whether endorsed by Trump or not, in the past few years, following the New Age fervor held for the practice, the interest in Feng Shui seems to have diminished greatly, and while home sellers are relying more and more on staging consultants to get their homes sold, one rarely hears anymore about Feng Shui consultants being called in.
So I was surprised when my friend and fellow realtor Diane Arenholz invited me to her home along with some other realtors for a demonstration by a Feng Shui practitioner named Shareane Baff whom she said was the best in the field. All right, I thought, let me meet up with her to get that question out of the way about the early demise of the practice.
“Yes, it’s true, there is not as much interest in Feng Shui as there once was,” Baff admitted candidly. “It’s because there were so many unqualified people in the business who thought they knew everything about it after taking a weekend course.”
Baff’s qualifications, I learned, are impeccable, having graduated from the BTB Feng Shui Masters Training Program, the only three-year certificate course in the United States. Also she has studied under Grand Master Lin Yun, the first Chinese Master to bring Feng Shui to the Western world.
Meeting Baff at Arenholz’s front door, I knew quickly that she was accomplished, understandable and very practical in her approach to energizing a house, whether for auspicious living or for sale.
Here are some major points made during the course of the session.
- Place objects of movement outside the home, such as colorful flags or wind chimes;
- Clear and maintain the path to your front door;
- Place potted plants on either side of the front door, and in winter use natural looking faux greens (personally, I just stick in branch clippings from my fall evergreen trims);
- Park your car in the garage; Suggest to the potential buyers that they park in front of your home rather than in the driveway (squeezing past a parked car in the driveway creates a bad tone for experiencing the home);
- Purchase a beautiful and new welcome mat to place by the front door;
- Clear the front landing and make sure the front door is freshly painted as the gateway that transitions the energy of the world with the owner’s personal space. The home must invite visitors in and beckon them to stay;
- When the front door is opened, what does the guest see? If it’s not uplifting, a picture or object should be placed there to represent comfort, abundance, beauty or love. A lush plant represents growth and if you place a mirror under the plant, it will amplify potential for financial growth. A mirror on the wall is symbolic of water which also represents abundance;
- Take the time and trouble to lift up or move large pieces of furniture which may not have been moved for a long time, with the result that the space has become stagnant;
- Open windows to let the fresh air in, renewing the spirit of the house;
- Clear clutter beyond what the potential buyer can see—junk drawers, old pill bottles, old clothes and shoes, unread books, old toys; Also get rid of worn down batteries (especially important, of course, in smoke detectors);
- Remove anything that is under your bed. Storing things there affects your personal chi (life force);
- Take a tour of your home. Role play that you are the potential buyer. What do you see and smell? Improve whatever you can;
- And lucky #13: Be grateful that the home has sheltered and nurtured you and release it to the potential new owners.
During a personal consultation, there is a trick that Baff shared with me that intensifies and facilitates a transcendental solution called “the red envelope tradition.” The homeowner gives a red envelope with money to the teacher before he or she shares, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the transcendental solution. It also shows respect for the sacred work.
Will I be lulled into a Feng Shui consultation to sell my own home, scheduled to go on the market in the spring? I’m thinking, I'm thinking.
Beyond the red envelope tradition, a basic consultation with Baff can range from $500 to $900 but, as she says, “the value is priceless as your life changes in ways you cannot even imagine.” Consultations by phone are done in 15 minute blocks of time and the fee is $50. Baff, who also manufacturers crystal “intentions” bracelets to raise vibrational energy, can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or reached by phone at 845-226-4650.
Bill Primavera is a licensed Realtor® affiliated with Coldwell Banker who writes regularly as The Home Guru. Visit his website at: www.PrimaveraRealEstate.com and, if you would like to consult with him about buying or selling a home, contact him directly at 914-522-2076.