My first contact with clients is generally over the phone, when they call to retain me. Usually in the course of that phone call, they will ask when they need to come in to sign.
Generally, you will sign the paperwork with your lawyer one to three days prior to closing. While we can certainly accommodate a need to close earlier than that, it is generally best to sign close to the closing date to ensure that all documentation is in our hands and available to review with you at that appointment, especially as many closings are under four weeks.
And don’t be shocked when you see the stack of paper two inches thick that you will need to sign.