Once home buyers and sellers have negotiated a way through a contract and have closing date set, you'd think that they're totally in the clear, right? Not necessarily. Here are some common speed bumps that can slow down a home sale, and how to avoid them so you can finish right on time.

Speed bump No. 1: past-due water bills.

In the hustle and bustle of moving out, some home sellers simply forget to pay their water bill. What may seem like a small drip in the ocean of home buying, it actually can crash the sale. If there's any sort of debt owed on the property, title can stop the sale.

Speed bump No. 2: last-minute damage.

Any damage to the house prior to the sale is the responsibility of the seller. So if something happens during the escrow process, before you get the keys, always alert your real estate agent. Common issues could be some weather damage, water heater explodes, and even a dishwasher leaking. So before the close of escrow, I highly recommend that the buyer does a final walk-through to catch any issues so the seller can fix it.

Speed bump No. 3: survey issues.

So buying a house with a yard and a driveway may seem pretty straightforward, but if that home lacks an official document that shows the boundaries, it can throw a serious curveball when it comes to closing escrow. You want to make sure you know where the property lines are before you buy the home.

Speed bump No. 4: major purchases right before close of escrow.

Just because you're buying the home of your dreams does not mean you should go out and buy the car of your dreams. Making a big purchase before closing raises a red flag with lenders. Buyers need to be financially conservative without any wild swings in spending throughout the entire escrow process.

Bumps in the road are inevitable, but if you can avoid these four speed bumps, you're on your way to a smooth closing and a beautiful home.