Posted by: Debbie Abrams Kaplan | June 22, 2011

Selling Your House Using Feng Shui

It’s nice to know that New Jersey is catching up with California when it comes to selling houses to the Chinese.

When we were looking for a realtor to sell our California home, we interviewed two agents. The first one offered us a one hour complimentary Feng Shui consultation. You can imagine how well that went over with Mark, whose idea of of feng shui for interior decorating means flushing the toilet after using it.

Our second realtor (who is white, by the way) insisted on loaning us her zen fountain to plug in (yes, plug in) near the back door. The running water (akin to Mark flushing the toilet?) was to signify, oh I don’t know, money running out of our bank account? We didn’t argue, and we plugged the fountain in before any and every home showing. If that’s what it took to sell our house in California at the bottom of the market, we’d do it.

We rightly thought that our townhouse would be sold to a Chinese or an Indian family. Afterall, white people were a minority in our town, and we were the only Caucasian family in our block of 6 townhones.

After our house didn’t sell in the first few weeks, Mark talked to his Chinese coworkers. They pointed out that our house number contained not one, but two 4s, an unlucky number in Chinese because it sounds like the word for death in Cantonese. We couldn’t change the house number (like the real estate agent did in New Jersey), but we could include lots of lucky number 8s in our asking price.  The number 8 in Chinese sounds like wealth, and that’s what we wanted lots of when selling our house.

Soon after we received several offers – from Chinese families. It probably didn’t hurt that in addition to changing the ending numbers to 8s, we also lowered the price by tens of thousands of dollars. When those offers fell through for various reasons, we got one last offer.

And we sold it to them. They were Caucasian Jews. And I’m not sure they cared much about the zen fountain or the 8s in the price. They just wanted the right price…and what was to be our beer fridge in NJ.

notice the zen fountain on the left counter top - trying to hide our unrenovated kitchen


  1. I am Mark’s friend from Roche, whos son story you heard about CA drivers licence.
    My house in Saratoga had two 4s 14174 , i thought for the same reason Chinese will never get it.
    But i got an offer 2 days after being on the market and it was Chinese family to my surprise.
    They said they didnt mind the number, but when i move here my dear neighbors notify me they change my number, but they only took out one 4.

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