Usually at this point, all that’s left to worry about is loan approval for you. You should have been in frequent contact with your lender, who updates your real estate agent on the status of the approval. Loan approval means that you have provided all of the documentation required by the lender and that the lender is satisfied that you have the resources to purchase and make mortgage payments on your home.
It’s now time for “closing.” Closing is the ceremony where ownership of the home changes hands and you become a homeowner. Closing protocol varies significantly around the country. You may actually meet the seller and sign your paperwork together, or you may sign separately. Either way, the actual closing is usually rather anti-climactic; you pretty much just sit at a table and sign dozens of documents.
Depending on your contract with the seller, you will either get possession of your new home immediately after closing, or a few days later. In some markets it is customary to allow the seller three days to move out after closing without a rental agreement because they may be purchasing another home with the proceeds of your sale. You will arrange for utilities to be placed in your name as of the date of move-in, not necessarily the date of closing.
As you probably know, moving requires a lot of patience and planning. Be prepared for unexpected “surprises” during move in, such as doorknobs falling off, or light bulbs all burning out. It’s just all part of the adventure!