Closing can be stressful for anyone, especially for the first-time home buyer. Therefore, take the time to learn about the process as much as possible so that you are keenly aware of what will happen. There are steps that you can take ahead of time to prepare yourself to make closing as smooth as possible. This includes making sure your finances are in order. Beyond being pre-approved, you need to have the earnest money for the transaction. Further, you need to communicate with your lender what steps you need to be in place for closing. Once you get your closing instructions from your realtor, follow them in a timely manner. You want to make sure everything is ready on the day of close. This includes having your earnest money, your homeowners insurance and identification and any other forms of documentation noted in the closing instructions. A delay in closing is a nightmare that everyone involved wants to avoid because it has cascading affects from your move date to the transfer of money. Therefore, all of the professionals involved will do their best to make that closing date. Keep in mind that once you have agreed to the terms of the sale, a realistic closing date is approximately a month later. There are cases where you will be able to close earlier and there will be situations where you will close later. Be patient and flexible and do your best to meet your responsibilities and hope that your counter part in the transaction will do the same. If so, chances are closing will happen without any trouble. Often times this is the case. However, there are times where problems can arise that can derail the process and delay closing. Keep in mind that a conventional sale of property is the easiest of the transactions. However, a short sale or bank-owned property can be tricky. Therefore, if you are purchasing a short sale or bank-owned property, be patient and listen to your realtor. You may be getting a fantastic deal on the home but it will cost you time and some patience, so be prepared.
In the end, the better prepared you are by having all of your documents and financing in order, closing should be an hour at best with you leaving with your keys in hand.