Sold Your Home? 4 Steps to Take Before Closing

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Make sure you're ready to leave your home after you've sold it.

Selling your home is an exciting milestone because now you can move on to your next great adventure.

But even as you plan for what comes next in your life, you can't forget to take the necessary steps to wind up your financial affairs.

In particular, there are four things you'll need to do before closing on your current home. Keep reading to learn more and to make sure your move is as stress free as possible.

1. Cancel your homeowners insurance

Once you no longer own your old home, there's no more reason to maintain insurance coverage to protect it. You don't want to be left paying for an insurance policy you don't need, so contact your homeowners insurance company and cancel your policy.

If you've already paid for a full year of insurance and are moving midway through the year, you may actually get money back once you cancel. Your insurer will send you a check for the cost of coverage you prepaid for but didn't end up using. This is a big benefit because you can get a little extra cash when your home closes.

It's easy to forget to cancel coverage if you were paying your home insurance costs as part of your mortgage payment. So put it on your to-do list as soon as you know when your home is closing. In most cases, you can call in advance and let your insurance company know the specific date when you will no longer need insurance.

2. Turn off utilities

You don't want to pay for the new owner's electric, water, sewer, or trash services. So make sure that you shut them off before moving. Contact the companies and let them know that the day of closing is the last day you want your account to be open.

You may also want to provide information to the new owners about which utility companies service your home so they can switch the services to their name. And if you paid a deposit to turn on your utilities, you may be entitled to have it returned once you have closed down the account.

3. Forward your mail

You'll want to change your address with the companies that you do business with, but chances are good that you aren't going to remember everyone you need to notify.

To make sure nothing slips through the cracks, sign up with the United States Postal Service to have your mail forwarded.

You can forward your mail for up to one year, but be sure to sign up in advance of closing so you don't end up with letters going to your old house before the forwarding kicks in.

4. Set up services in your new home

Finally, you'll want to make sure that you're ready to move into your new home with all of the creature comforts you'll need -- including utilities, cable and internet, water, and trash pickup.

You can call the companies at your new home in advance once you know the date you'll be moving into your new home. That way, there's no gap in service once you move.

By taking care of these steps in advance, closing on your home should be a stress-free process, and you can spend your closing day looking forward to making your new home your own.

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