Staging homes to sell quickly using the ancient Chinese principals of Feng Shui worked so well during Stephen Kodad’s real estate career, he started a business around the concept. His company, The Feng Shui Cure, teaches the art of transforming environments to create magnets for success. This is done through his best-selling books, workshops, seminars and presentations at industry events. As of 2015, he has trained over 3,700 real estate agents, homeowners and home stagers in how to use these techniques.
With a special interest in psychology and how decisions are made on a subconscious level, Stephen focuses on ways to enhance the positive aspects of a home while minimizing anything negative. Potential buyers can then be convinced that a home has everything they are looking for. I spoke with him to learn more about his expertise as a Certified Feng Shui Professional.
Stephanie: You went from selling real estate to training real estate agents how to sell property quickly using Feng Shui. What prompted you to switch?
Stephen: I got to the point Stephanie, I was listing a lot of houses, but in some cases they were such a waste of time. Here I am putting money into marketing, and if I don’t sell it, I don’t make anything. I actually lose thousands of dollars. Eventually, I would work only with certain people. They had to be a lot more open to working at it. Selling real estate is really a twenty-four seven job for hopefully only four to six weeks, but you have to stage it properly. If you’re not going to do it, why complain about being on the market so long, or, “Why haven’t I gotten an offer?” I really just enjoyed this aspect of things so much more.
Stephanie: So the results spoke for themselves. Describe how you help someone who wants to sell property quickly.
Stephen: Selling a house or making their existing house a sanctuary is important to us all. Feng Shui has a well-defined set of parameters and techniques that create an environment that feels: very secure, extremely comfortable, magnetically attractive, and that promotes success for an individual in all aspects of their life.
I help my clients by doing a three-hour evaluation of their interior and exterior, take photos, and write up an extensive eight to twelve-page report explaining in detail how to correct specific problems and impressions.
Perception is always a big difference maker when selling a home. I start by introducing them to what I have coined the five “BIG D’s.” I let them know that if these things are not handled immediately, the fifth BIG D, “Dynamizing,” the part in which you use Feng Shui techniques to stage and make it more appealing, will not matter.
The first one is De-Cluttering. In Feng Shui, this handles two problems: flow of energy and reducing the idea of limitation. The second BIG D is “Deep Cleaning.” Third is what I refer to as “Detailing,” and the fourth one is “Depersonalizing.”
Stephanie: Will it still work if one of the five Big D’s isn’t addressed?
Stephen: It’s extremely hurtful if the first four are not handled so we can get into what I call the fun part, the “Dynamizing” part. The first four are quite often things that I have to really explain thoroughly to somebody who’s trying to sell their house because they’ll think they’ve already covered them or it’s not that important.
Take Deep Cleaning, for instance. A lot of people don’t think they need to do that. They don’t want to do it–they don’t want to get behind the refrigerator or clean the baseboards. It’s extremely important because it sets the tone and the feeling of a home. The Deep Cleaning is an extremely important thing, but I get a lot of people that give me a difficult time about it.
Stephanie: Does a home that is not Deep Cleaned reduce the effect and the amount of positive energy a potential buyer feels about a space?
Stephen: Yes, very much! A buyer will notice this very quickly. Decluttering is also very pivotal. I think anybody that’s ever read about Feng Shui, they know that it plays a big part. I push the idea of taking away limitation a lot in my training. You want to show that there’s so much room for opportunity for the new people. If they see that, or feel that, it really helps with respect to selling the property quickly.
“Detailing” is fixing things. Homeowners will minimize the importance of a light bulb being out, but it’s something that is very noticeable to a person on a conscious, even a subconscious level; the person that lives there is not taking care of things. What else are they hiding or have neglected?
Buyers have a lot of concerns when they’re looking. They’re really worried about making the wrong decision. They don’t want to do a lot of work when they move in either. They don’t want to have to take the time and effort to fix things they didn’t know about, so by taking away those kind of things, you really have relieved an awful lot of their concerns.
Some people aren’t sure about the Depersonalizing part of it. Every real estate agent or home stager has been trained in this. In Feng Shui, it’s about taking away the prior energy as well as to make it a welcoming situation. You want that person to say, “Yeah, I can see myself in this house.” That’s why you take away the pictures of all of your relatives and all that kind of stuff. You are reducing the current owner’s energy and making it easier for the buyer to see and feel themselves being very comfortable.
Stephanie: I love how you go into the subconscious level of the home buyer.
Stephen: To me, Feng Shui is a lot about psychology. Feng Shui changes a person’s perceptions on not only a conscious level…but a sub-conscious one. What is important about that fact is that most decisions are eventually made and reinforced on the subconscious level. There’s so much that goes on around you and I during a day that we don’t even register because it’s just not important at that moment, whether it’s to react to a car speeding down the road or a baby crying. The brain only takes into account about five percent or so of what’s actually going on around you and what needs immediate attention. If it didn’t, we’d have a major problem with respect to being able to react to things quickly. Feng Shui “taps” into that five percent!