Just because you’ve closed escrow and have given the keys to the house to its new owner doesn’t mean you’re finished just yet. While the hard part is over, there are still a few tasks you should complete before calling it a done deal.
It should go without saying, but once you’ve moved your possessions out of your home, you should thoroughly clean it. Though it isn’t necessarily required, it is a thoughtful courtesy to extend to the buyer of your home. Nobody likes moving into a dirty house, or wants to waste time getting settled in by having to give the entire home a thorough cleaning.
Organize and store sale documents
Selling a home can produce a mountain of paperwork, and it may be tempting to toss all of it once the sale is complete. But don’t go shredding those documents too soon. You will want to keep a copy of all your records for the upcoming tax season to show your expenses and any proceeds from the sale. You should also hang onto them in case you should ever get audited for that tax year.
Keep records of home improvements
Not only should you keep all sales documents, but you should also keep records of any improvements you have made to your home. These are also needed for tax purposes. The IRS may allow homeowners to deduct improvements to the home during the time you owned it.
Contact utility companies
Another important task when you’re selling your home is to contact the utility companies to discontinue service. Arrange for services to be disconnected on your closing date. Also, cancel home delivery of your newspaper, and disconnect the alarm service. Notify each company of your forwarding address so they know where to send the final bill.
Change your address
At this point, you should also complete a change of address form with the postal service. The form can be completed in person at a local branch or online. Although this blanket service will ensure that most of your mail gets forwarded to your new address, you should still notify credit card companies, banks and other places where you do business of your new information early to avoid any potential problems.
Terminate homeowner’s insurance
In addition to disconnecting utility services, you also need to contact your insurance agent to cancel your homeowner’s insurance policy. You should do this even if you’ve arranged for a new homeowner’s policy with the same agent. They will not automatically terminate your old policy for you, so you should be sure to complete that task yourself.
Be aware of tax laws
Finally, stay on top of tax laws when preparing your taxes for the year in which you sold your home. Tax laws do change from year to year, and you want to be sure you’re making the most of any deductions that could be coming your way from the sale of your home.
Compliments of Carol and Patti