Closing on your home: Are you walking in blind?

By the time you arrive at the table to close on your home purchase, you're tired. It's been a long haul to get to this point, and the last thing you want is any kind of surprise.

Particularly if you're a first-time homebuyer, knowing ahead of time what to expect at closing can help ease any anxieties you may have, and ensure that you get your keys with no unforeseen hiccups.

The good news is, if you have worked with a trustworthy real estate agent and have chosen a reliable mortgage lender, you should anticipate a smooth settlement. All the professionals you've been working with are helping you get through the final steps of the transaction.

"Buyers should not expect any surprises at the settlement as long as they have carefully reviewed their Good Faith Estimate (GFE), shopped for their title services and compared written estimates of closing costs," said Todd Ewing, president of Federal Title and Escrow Co. in Washington, D.C.

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