Selling a home is an exciting life event, but can be confusing. We have compiled a list of important steps to take to avoid delaying your closing. If you’re considering selling your home and don’t know where to start, contact your local real estate agent; they can walk you through the entire home selling process from contract to close.

- Gather Up All Those Documents. Retain all executed seller disclosures as well as the purchase contract and the closing statement. - Clean the House. Leave your home the way you would like to find it if you were the buyer.

- Shut Everything Off. Turn off shut-off valves. If you've disconnected the washer, make sure the shut-off valve is completely turned off. Some sellers shut off the valves to all water sources, including sinks, toilets, and dishwashers. Just be sure to leave a note for the buyer so she won't call a plumber when the water doesn't turn on.

- Attend the final walkthrough. There are so many quirks about a home that only the previous property owner would know. You can pass on these tips to the buyer during the final walkthrough, things like which light switch operates the lights, whether a door sticks, or how to clean the swimming pool.

- Cancel Your Insurance Policies. Wait until you know the deed has recorded or title transfer has formally occurred, then call your insurance agent. You should receive a refund of any prepaid premiums for your homeowner's insurance.

- Close Accounts. Cancel the utilities and stop the newspaper. Make a list of phone numbers of each of your utility companies in advance.

- Leave all house keys, remotes, gate keys, pool keys, and mailbox keys for the new owner. The buyers may change the locks, but this won't happen the instant they move in.

- Don't Leave Anything Behind. This step will give you peace of mind, and your buyer will feel like he's moving into his own home, not one you vacated in a hurry.

- Change Your Address. Don't forget to let everyone know where you've gone. Submit a change-of-address form to the post office, but remember that not all mail can be forwarded. You might have to reach out directly to some entities to give them your new address.

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