We had a buyer panel a couple of weeks ago, with people who'd bought their houses from us recently. I was surprised at the number of problems that came up right before, or even during, the closing. Two of the three were packed and ready to move before they knew whether or not the other party would be able to perform.
While we in the business all know that the transaction doesn't end with the signing of the contract, even we didn't quite realize that the obstacles in a sale are moving farther and farther down the pipeline. It used to be that the big hurdle was getting the contract signed. Then it was the inspection, and renegotiations after that. Next came the appraisal. Now it's the financing, which is often so problematic that the contingencies last right up until the closing day.
The good news is that all the transactions went through, even though one poor buyer started with six weeks to move and ended with two days. It was also good news that no one thought that his or her Realtor was to blame. It shows, however, that moving (no matter what we tell you) is hard to make easy. Leave plenty of time; expect things to go wrong; don't sweat the small stuff; and keep a sense of humor!