Rookie Purchasing Mistakes

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My husband and I are under contract for our first investment property. We feel we got a great deal in an up-and-coming neighborhood with the potential for a high ROI. We used a real estate agent to have access to MLS listings and did things the "traditional" way. Now we're waiting on a closing date... and waiting... and waiting. We feel that time is money and therefore we're not making any as we stand idly waiting to finalize the purchase. We've already had inspections (even though it's AS IS) and contractors go through during the option period. Now we just want to get in there and get the work started!! This is an all cash offer so there's not a problem with financing, we've been told all this waiting is typical of the process.

Are there any terms/contingencies that we can put into contracts for future purchases that will not put us at a standstill?