Tag Archives: staging

My Secret to Selling Homes Quickly

As a real estate agent in Austin, Texas, I am committed selling my clients’ homes quickly, in fact my track record is 39 times faster than the market average.  What’s my secret?  I stage homes using the principles of the eastern art of Feng Shui.  Using Feng Shui creates irresistible emotional appeal.  When buyers connect to a home on an emotional level they are more likely to buy it.

Feng Shui involves creating balance in one’s environment. Every aspect of a room affects the way you feel in the space.  Colors, shapes, lighting, and furniture arrangement work together to create a harmonious feeling or conflict with each other to create a feeling of unease.  When buyers feel comfortable and relaxed they connect to a space.  Feng Shui helps balance energy so the space not only looks appealing, but offers a sense of comfort.  I refer to it as the “Ahh! Factor.” 

My company, Balanced Living Properties has become successful by incorporating Feng Shui principles to create a unique model for the business of buying and selling property.

Before putting a client’s home on the market, I stage it.  I emphasize its attributes by arranging furniture, adding color, and creating  good flow.  I showcase the home’s potential, allowing buyers to envision their dream home.

Feng Shui  puts people at ease in their environment.

 Oprah Winfrey employs her own personal Feng Shui Consultant. Major corporations such as Microsoft, Citibank, Chase Manhattan, Hyatt Hotels, CNN, ABC, IBM, Boeing, ATT, Disney and Trump have also been finding the ancient Chinese theories about flow and aesthetics of space to bring them success.

In fact, Hong Kong Disneyland‘s main gate and entrance was positioned in a north/south direction for good luck based on the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui.

Donald Trump said, “I don’t have to believe in Feng Shui, I do it because it works.” 

Balanced Living Properties takes a heart-centered approach to working with buyers and sellers, creating win-win-win scenarios and transactions grounded on goodwill.  Find more information at www.balancedlivingproperties.com.

Home Staging 101 – Fresh Staging Ideas that Work

If you’re selling your home you need tools to present the best product possible. Attention to every detail is crucial if you want to sell your home quickly and for potentially higher profit.  You need home staging that goes beyond cleaning windows and putting out a welcome mat.

Home Staging is marketing. It’s about detaching from your home so that buyers can see themselves living there. In order to appeal to the most home buyers, you’ve got to de-personalize your home and present it in an appealing manner.

Picture this: You need to buy an automobile. You found the model you liked but when you went to see the car it had bumper stickers on it that you didn’t agree with, baby’s toys in the backseat, and fast food wrappers (from a restaurant you disliked) on the floorboard. Would you be drawn to that auto? The same principle applies in selling a home. 

Ten Fresh Staging Ideas that Work

1 – Make sure there are no visible nicks on your furniture, especially in the living room, master bedroom, and entryway. Paint or replace it if so.

2 – Outdoor furniture should be as appealing as indoor furniture. Repaint, clean and/or replace worn-out cushions as needed.

3 – Remove all family photos except two or three. Buyers like to see who they’re buying the home from and if they see a happy photo of your family, they’ll feel more confident that they’ll be happy in the home.  But too many photos will make the home feel like “your” home and buyers won’t see themselves in it.

4 – Ensure the first thing a buyer sees when they open the front door is high-quality, in good repair, and colorful. Fresh flowers are good -droopy plants with brown edges aren’t.  Place your most appealing artwork, rug(s), and/or furniture here.

5 – A few potted plants around the house is good as long as they are trimmed – no unruly ivy! Plants must be healthy.  No plastic pots either – transplant them to ceramic pots.

6 – Remove all outdoor flags. Many of my clients have resistance to doing this. “It’s the American flag after all!”  Remember, you don’t want to cause a negative reaction in buyers. Some home buyers may have judgment about home owners that fly a flag outside. And some buyers may have a judgment about flying a particular flag outside.  Why risk it?

7 – Don’t display too much of one thing. If you love cats and have a lot of cat memorabilia remember that not all buyers will have a positive reaction when they look at cats. Limit memorabilia to one item in each room, three items total throughout the house.

8 – Ensure every bed in the house has lots of pillows on it. Ideally, each bed should have two rows of pillows and a decorative pillow in the middle.

9 – If your garage is the messiest area of the home, warn buyers by placing an attractive note card on the garage door saying “Please overlook the mess, we’re getting ready to move!” or something similar. Prepare them.  Avoid giving buyers any negative surprises.

10 – Place candy or sweet treats for buyers in large bowls and make sure to refill before buyers arrive. You want to create a feeling of abundance and comfort.

Need personalize help? I offer Long Distance Staging Consults which are remarkably effective!  Check my website at Feel Good Home Design.

Six Feng Shui Home Staging Secrets for Adding Irresistible Appeal when Selling your Home.

If you’re selling your home in the current real estate market whether here in Austin Texas or another part of the country, the more you do to make it stand out from other homes on the market, the better.  More than selling four walls and roof, you are selling the possibility of a more fulfilling, inspired life.  Attention to detail is crucial in creating warmth and coziness, which creates comfort in the buyer.   Here are six relatively inexpensive things I do when preparing a client’s home for sale based on the principles of Feng Shui.

1- Place new flower pots with colorful flowers on each side of the front door and flower boxes on the porch (if practical).  Buyers are going to form the very important first-impression before they even walk into your home.  There’s no way to change a first impression.  Ensure that everything they see on the way inside your home looks healthy and pretty.

2 – Create a seating area on the porch with a chair (or two) and a table, an outdoor rug, and colorful seat cushions.  For a little extra effort, hang a porch-swing.  Creating a sitting area creates instant comfort and allows buyers to imagine relaxing on the porch.   It’s important to create areas that lend themselves to a buyer’s imagination. 

3- Buy a new, colorful, heavy-weight front door mat.  The front door is important and nothing says “I’m not a well-cared for home” more than an old and faded doormat.

4- Install a few upgraded outlet covers in high visibility areas.  You’ll add instant  charm and character with a sophisticated or whimsical electrical switch outlet.  It gives the impression of extra care you’ve taken with your home and it gives your home unique appeal.

5- Place magazines like Architectural Digest, Dwell, and Gourmet on your bed or on an outdoor seating area.  Publications associated with home or relaxing are best (travel magazines are great too) in order to create an idea of relaxing and creating a more fulfilling life. 

Buyers aren’t just buying a home, they are buying the dream of a creating a happier life.

6- Place an accessory with an uplifting saying on it where buyers can see it.  I’ve used river rocks that say “patience” and “trust,” a wood cut-out that says “happiness” and a plaque that says “love is spoken here.”  Adding nurturing sentiments can trigger a buyer’s feeling of relaxation and okay-ness.  When a buyer feels relaxed and inspired in a house, they are much more likely to buy it.

Staging Your Home Gives You a Powerful Advantage

What is home staging? Staging is marketing. It is a proven technique that turns a home into a product that can be marketed and sold. It transforms a home to appeal to the broadest possible audience to generate the greatest possible interest from buyers. Staging sells homes in less time than the un-staged competition and helps maximize your equity.

Why stage your home?

  • Allows you to get your home sold quickly.
  • Maximizes your selling price.
  • Reduces the amount of showings.
  • Minimizes your stress.

A home’s condition will dictate the selling price. It’s quite simple – show your home in its best light at a higher sales price or lower the price and lessen the improvements done to home.  Staging gives you a powerful advantage.  An essential part of selling your home is preparing it for sale, yet this is frequently overlooked or not done correctly.  Quite simply, homes that are appealing sell quicker and for more money than homes that don’t have that “wow” factor.  The better a home looks, the easier it is to sell. 

Here’s what people say about staging:

“Statistics report that while most homes take more than 30 days to sell, staged homes average about 13 days on the market and sell for about 6 percent over list price.” 

Fort Worth Star Telegram, June 2004.


 “Staging speeds up sales in a sluggish market, and can bump up prices 2% to 10% in a moderate market. The biggest advantage occurs with luxury homes or in a market with bidding wars over properties, where effective staging can boost prices by 30% to 50%”.

Wall Street Journal, April 30 2003.


 Valerie Torelli, broker/owner of Torelli Realty in Costa Mesa, Calif., has been staging homes since 1991. “I have five seconds to sell a home five seconds to make an impact on the buyers when they first walk in the door,” said Torelli. “Staging ensures that that impact is a good and lasting one.”

Realtor Magazine, April 2003.


 The better impression your house makes on buyers, the closer you will be to making a sale.   Properties that are staged with a flair showcase a home are the type buyers get excited about the moment they drive up.

-Roger Sturgell, Chairman of the Austin Board of Realtors, Austin American-Statesman, 2005

Maintaining Balance in the World of Real Estate.

doorwayI obtained a Texas Real Estate license a few years ago because income from my Feng Shui consults wasn’t enough to pay my bills.  Wanting to combine Feng Shui, Staging, and my passion of simply looking at houses, I thought that becoming a Realtor® would offer the best of all worlds.  What I’ve found is that being a Realtor® does enable me to see more homes and do more Feng Shui staging which is terrifically fulfilling.   What I didn’t realize was how much real estate transactions deal with people’s core issues of financial insecurity, control, trust, and greediness.  I’ve seen a transaction bring out the worst in people, and sometimes the worst isn’t very bad, but sometimes it’s absolutely draining and frustrating.  And when I become engaged with a client at the level of their ego it often brings out my own fears and insecurities.

Clients that I’ve started working with that seemed balanced, enlightened, and connected to their spiritual nature will frequently disappear and reappear as ego-driven, frightened and not-very-nice people.  I wasn’t prepared for such a challenge to my spiritual balanced-ness.  And because my ego tells me that every client must be pleased with my services, I’ve found myself in grips of “I can’t do this anymore” situations where I feel unappreciated and taken advantage of.  But that’s my stuff.  And that’s the climate of the real estate business, or maybe every business that’s established in the world of form. 

eag at kite festival 2

But I can also say it’s so perfect because it’s allowing me to see how I can step into the ego world, the world of form as Eckhart Tolle eloquently explains.  I then can find my tools to get out of ego and into Spirit and say…oh… it’s not Real(isn’t that ironic that Real Estate isn’t Real)!  What is real is the authentic peace I find in the present moment and in the flow of being.  Being, not doing.  And, I see bits of myself in each client that’s coping with their fear, anxiety, and insecurity.  It’s an unprecedented learning experience I’ve given to myself without knowing I was doing it.

Because people put so much security into their home, both emotionally and financially, it’s very hard to:

  • Convince Home Sellers to lower their sales price based on market conditions;
  • Work with other Realtors that are determined to “one-up” me;
  • Ask clients to create good-will by compromising with the other party;
  • Ensure clients that I’m doing everything I can to: sell their home and create the best outcome for them;
  • Show clients that I actually know more than their personal on-line research.

My mission with Balanced Living Properties is to bring Balance into a client’s life; to match people with homes; and to create transactions grounded on Good Will; and perhaps the most important, is to stay Balanced myself.

My Job is to Help Home Sellers and Now I am One.

Buy our home in Austin!

We decided to be proactive about our finances and decided that selling our home was the best solution to our current economic state.  My partner David never really felt like our three-year old home was “home.”   I did, but I also succumbed to the facts about how much money we were spending versus how much we were earning.  In light of the recent real estate downmarket it seemed like in an instant we went from having lots of business to almost no business.  I’d been hearing about how bad things were in other places and how little business other Realtors®  had but that was not our situation at all until it was our situation.  Along with last year’s dramatic stock market losses we suddenly found ourselves in a pickle neither of us planned for.

It was a  tough two weeks of physical labor and 15-hour days spent decluttering, moving furniture, cleaning, packing, and even holding a garage sale (which I vow never to do again) to ensure that our home was balanced, beautiful, and shining.  As the echo of  the mantra I use with clients rang in my ears….you only have ten seconds to create a great first impression, I looked for every detail in my home that I could improve upon.  Since my job is selling other people’s homes and staging them using Feng Shui, I wanted to use every staging idea I had and implement every Feng Shui treatment I knew.

That part is done.  Our home went on the market four days ago.  I expected to have at least one call by now but it’s been very quiet. Looks like we’ll get to experience first-had what other sellers in Austin and lots of places are seeing which is a scarcity of buyers.  Hmm… maybe tomorrow?  Now my mantra is… it only takes one person to buy your home.   I’ll keep you posted.