I am a little suprised that your Realtor or lender has not explained the process.I am sorry you have needed to ask this question :)
Here is the normal sequence of events :-
1) Offer is accepted
2) Earnest money depositied
3) Home inspection is completed
4) Lender orders appraisal
5) Appraisal, along with the rest of your loan application file is sent to underwriting.
6) If your loan officer has done a great job in pre-approving you and appraiser agrees the home is worth your purchase price and is in FHA acceptable condition, underwriting will ok the loan
7) If not, underwriting may ask for more documentation, repairs on the home etc.
8) Once accepted, underwriting will give "clear to close"
9) Your lender will set up a closing date with you and an attorney / closing service.
10) You sign papers, get your keys and hopefully live happily ever after :)
Best wishes in your new home!
RE/MAX Real Estate Concepts
Altoona, IA 50009
Licensed to sell real estate in Iowa