I found a good write up on this subject and added my comments in red below. Hopefully this can help you select a real master and avoid a fake one. Below is the translation :
How to Identify Feng Shui Charlatans and Fake Feng Shui Masters
The content contained in the article is for educational & awareness purposes only.
Most people cannot identify a real or fake feng shui masters, nor can they judge the competence level of any given feng shui master. This is a guide for the common folks on how to identify and discern a fake feng shui master from those who are truly learned & authentic . These methods are simple and mainly based on common sense.
1. Fake feng shui masters like to brag
They usually tell everyone that they are from the lineage of a deceased feng shui master that stretches back to over tens of generations. The well-known ancient Feng Shui masters have no more than 5 generations of feng shui lineage, and even the genetics order have changed completely after 5 generations. If you do hold a real lineage officially why do you need to move out the ancestral tablets of your masters? Moreover, even Yang Gong’s feng shui theory, with the passing of time, errors are gradually exposed. Ancestral theories cannot reach the pinnacle of any feng shui school’s practice, otherwise there will be no theoretical development and evolution.
My comment is that while this is sometimes true, be careful with the word Lineage because some are misusing it for personal gains when they do not actually have a lineage. Anyway, this is not some thing that you can easily ascertain. Some do have a lineage and lineage is important because it is prove of a working system. This is the reason why many likes to claim a lineage.
2. The secret arts of the ancestral lineage are easily revealed
They boast of ancestral secrets, and entice let students to pay a lot of money to learn. If there is an ancestral secret art, it will not violate the ancestral teaching and will be allowed to be passed on to outsiders by devising a teaching system. The core theory of feng shui is yin yang and the five elements. If you truly master the theory of yin yang and the five elements, you will be able to master the secrets of feng shui. Unfortunately, there are very few people who can really master the theory of Yin-Yang and the Five Elements properly. Some well-known feng shui masters also often make mistakes in basic concepts.
My comments: There are many who may not have the real knowledge but being the one eyed jacked in the land of the blind, thus they become the master. Some will claim that they have inherited from divine source downloading the knowledge in the dream.
3. Results take too long to be felt
This is all a lie, or just what a careless teacher who doesn’t understand Feng Shui and thinks he has mastered Feng Shui will usually tell clients. If the feng shui adjustments are correct, it should be effective in a few days, sometimes even the very next day. Because after the feng shui environmental changes, the stimulation of the environmental energy on the human body’s meridians will also change so it doesn’t take a few years to wait for results at all.
My comment: Typically 3-6 months you should be able to feel some changes. Changes and may not be the final result. Feng Shui is not magic, it takes time and effort from client to make it happen.
4. Confusing Feng Shui and Theology
Some feng shui masters don’t understand feng shui at all, and regard feng shui as a god or religion, and they don’t know anything about adjusting the layout of spaces. In many cases, although the position of the deity altar is correct, the feng shui has not improved at all. Some mistakes made on the altars have also caused some disasters. The essence of Feng Shui is the interaction and influence of the environmental energy on the human energy. The deity altar position mainly serves as a spiritual function, a kind of belief, and sometimes it does bring great effects, which can lift people’s spirits & morale, so as to achieve the purpose of changing fate. Feng shui masters who can only place gods & deities and cannot adjust the layout of living spaces are not feng shui masters.
My comment: Feng Shui is not spiritual but folks usually get confused thinking that spiritual practice is part of Feng Shui. They are not, they are separate subject and deal with different matter. Spiritual can change luck too for a short term such as using talisman or chanting but they do not sustain. Feng Shui is about earth geomatic energy.
5. Full of nonsense and posturing
A real feng shui master can explain the feng shui phenomenon in the simplest of language, so that the Ornaments can work under certain conditions, but not most of the time. Usually only one or two pieces are needed.
My comment: Ornament are just psychology as per my previous blog post. Yes usually Feng Shui changes do not need to change entire house. Usually some simple renovation will suffice. Only in rare extreme cases where a major change is required.
7. To brag about being a leader of so-and-so
Some Feng shui masters will show some off some personal details of clients. Feng shui masters should respect the trust given to then by clients , and must strictly safeguard their privacy. These private secrets cannot be leaked, yet how can you brag about showing off your Feng Shui work for them to anyone else to show off your achievements? This is the most despicable type of liars. On the other hand, the feng shui masters with actual higher attainments has a distinct characteristics in accordance to the inherent qualities if their destiny charts. Masters with such distinct qualities usually use their mind and speak less, and it is basically not in their nature to speak and brag everywhere.
My comment: Yes , feng shui is about privacy, I lost many corporate jobs because I have refused to divulge the clientele list. Some of my clients are high profile personality and they will not like to be used as public reference. Do not treat Feng Shui consultation like a product purchase or service contract where you ask for client reference.
You can try your luck with the one who provide you the list. However, I have no choice but to stick to our principles.
8. Laughable low-level feng shui liar
These type usually makes up articles or stories. In such an article, people kept complimenting him, “Accurate, really accurate, too accurate; the whole family came to thank him;” and so on, these type of articles are in the same style as a tabloid selling fake drugs.
Next post I will share why people or what type are easily hooked to fake masters. Just like day and night are inseparable, the good and bad co exist throughout the beginning of time.
My comment: Feng Shui results or Feng Shui showmanship? This, I think you should be clear of what is important to you. A real person with ability do not need fancy cloths to portray that he or she is capable in their Feng Shui skills. Some testimonial are fake, this I have come across too but not practice such things.
Yes the true and fake co-exist thus do not be too hyped up with magic items, power rings etc that can change your life miraculously. Real life is not about short cut or some magic show, it is about our effort assisted by good energy.
The funny thing about Feng Shui vs Singer/Actors are that Feng Shui masters too have a destiny and thus not all like fame. Thus a singer or actor ability is directly linked to their fame, it is not the same in Feng Shui world. Most Feng Shui masters were not well known in the past, true?
Other tips: My comments
Friend’s recommendation is one sure way since they have experienced the results.
RESULTS ! THE PROVE OF THE PIE IS IN THE EATING…..
Try to talk to the master and understand his methodology. Feng Shui should be straight forward devoid of many ceremonial rituals.
At the end of the day, as marketing becomes more sophisticated, it is often difficult to differentiate the real from fake. Sometimes it is a bit of affinity and luck to meet the right one.