The Twelve Days of Christmas-inspired tips to help you sell up and buy a dream home.

Christmas is a time when many people consider a move. Sheree Foy reveals the 12 steps to success.

12 days of Christmas sign, £8.95,

Finding the ideal home might take a little longer than 12 days, but it’s Christmas so let’s dream it doesn’t. This is how it might go:

*On the First Day of Christmas: You have a dream. Every home move starts with an inkling of an idea, maybe just a touch of disquiet about your home or way of life. Even big dreams start small.

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*On the Second Day of Christmas: Time to get serious. What is the change you are trying to make? You need to really think about what you want and need. Maybe a move to a quieter country life or perhaps just the opposite, right into town next to all the shops and restaurants. Ask yourself, “Is this going to be a ‘forever’ home or just a step in the journey?”

*On the Third Day of Christmas: You’ve decided to sell. This is a big psychological step. Now you’ve started a campaign so leave sentimentality behind. Your home may be associated with all sorts of memories but, as of today, it is also an asset that needs to be sold at the highest price. Change your mindset.

*The Fourth Day of Christmas: It’s time to assemble your sales troops. The best results usually come from being surrounded by the best experts. Work out which estate agent you will use, identify your solicitor now, not later, and any tradespeople you may need to prepare your home for the market.

*On the Fifth Day of Christmas: Prepare your home. So many people market their property before it is fully ready. Ignore anyone that tells you that buyers will look past the water stain from last year’s leak, the drive that’s not been jet washed for years or decorations that looked great in the 80s. Fix, finesse and finish your home.

*On the Sixth Day of Christmas: Show your home to maximum effect. Work out your “wow” rooms and features. If you have a fantastic kitchen diner, then guess where the start of your grand tour should be? Make sure you know the route and the story; your agent should too.

*On the Seventh Day of Christmas: Prepare to negotiate. You don’t get in life what you deserve, only what you negotiate. Prepare for a conversation, via your agent, with your future buyer. Keep the conversation going with a knowledge of your home’s best features and a view of the recent prices of comparable properties. Use your experts, it’s what you’re paying them for.

*On the Eighth Day of Christmas: Get your “purchase” troops together. Again, an early appointment of a solicitor is a good move. If you want extra support to buy your dream home, or think your future home may be found ‘off

market’, a buying agent may help.

*On the Ninth Day of Christmas: It’s time to decide what you want to buy. It’s absolutely vital that any features on your shortlist are ‘must haves’. Do not waver. The wavering is allowed on the long list of features you’d love to have in your next home but your’re wiling to compromise on some of them. However, remember the mantra: location, location, location. Homes can be often changed and improved but only motorhomes have wheels.

*On the Tenth Day of Christmas: Find and buy your dream home. Work closely with your team and stress the seriousness and quality of your bid. Keep the conversation going and negotiate firmly but fairly. Once you’ve secured your new home, pick the right removal firm to keep breakages and stress levels to a minimum.

*On the Eleventh Day of Christmas: Keep a sharp focus on any work required on your new home. Use the professionals around you to source quality tradesman – perhaps your surveyor or buying agent will have suggestions. Proceed in well measured stages and watch your dream home appear.

*On the Twelfth Day of Christmas: Relax. Time for that glass of champagne if you’re feeling festive. Moving home is a major event in life. It can be stressful but also exhilarating. Sit back and congratulate yourself on a job well done.

*Sheree Foy runs Source Harrogate – The Property Finders, which provides a search and negotiation facility for clients looking to buy in the Harrogate area. It also provides sales and marketing support.