Steps To Buying A House!  Part 3

“The many steps to buying a house are many is definitely a journey - certainly more of a marathon, than a sprint."  I said.  "But we’re more than halfway there, but this is not the time to relax.” I told the Starks. 

Be patient when buying a home.  It's a marathon, not a sprint.

Boston Marathon 360 - courtesy of John Beagle

I wanted to make sure they stay on their toes.  Honestly though, I really didn’t need to do this.  They’ve been on top of things and gave us everything we wanted in a very timely manner.

But it’s always good to keep reminding them to...


I told them…

After the inspection and both parties agreeing on the Request for Repairs, you won’t be hearing much from me - except for an update.  There are still a lot that I have to do, but most of it are behind the scene.

A few of the things that happen behind the scene that I do is to...

  1. keep in contact with your lender to make sure we are moving along in a timely manner
  2. make sure the seller(s) is doing the repairs agreed
  3. make sure all paperwork needed to move the transaction along are all taken care of.
  4. and others...

There are many more things to do, but it’s something that you don’t need to concern yourself with.  Just expect these things to be done by me because I always want to make sure we keep moving forward.

“You, however…” I said.  “You’ll be working mostly with your lender to make sure you have a full and complete file so you’ll get a full approval on your loan and get it ready for closing.”


I told them that this is a good time, if they haven’t already, to get home insurance quote (Here's one of many you can choose).  I gave them ideas to talk with whomever they have their auto insurance with.  They may get a discount for bundling their insurance coverage.  it never hurts to get 2 or 3 quotes and compare.

I asked them to give the quote to their lender so they can gather all of the numbers for them and finalize the numbers. 

Before they finalize the numbers make sure that they...


I asked them if the lender has given them an idea as to how much they may need to the closing table to close the transaction.  They said yes.

“That’s great!”  I said.  “Now you need to make sure you know where you stand and review the numbers once again with your lender.   Since we’re getting close to closing, make sure that you will you have enough funds to bring to closing or that not much has changed.”

"I know that buying a home is exciting, especially since we're almost there, but please keep a very open line of communication with your lender..."  I continued... " More importantly, Please! Please! Please! don’t buy ANYTHING you don’t need and DO NOT open any new lines of credit."  

This has happened enough times that this is has become an inside joke with agents and lenders alike.

“May I say it again?” I asked jokingly.  They laughed with me and said, “Understood!”

If you have an emergency, call your lender first and tell them you need to use some of that money.  DO NOT USE THAT MONEY, until you go over it with your lender.  Your lender will tell you what you need to do in order for your loan to still qualify for the lender’s guidelines.

I kept outlining the next steps to them and told them to get ready when we...


Ned asked me jokingly.  I like his sense of humor - very similar to mine - dry!

I continued to explain...

Going to docs (short for documents), means your lender is getting ready to send your loan documents to the title company and get it ready for you to sign.  The title company prepares those documents in accordance to the instructions given by the lender.  They do this so when your lender receives those documents required, they can then prepare to “fund’ your loan.

Funding means they will be sending the monies to the title company to get it ready for disbursement.  Disbursement means, once the title of the home is recorded under your name(s), you can then get the keys to the house and you are the legal owner.  The seller, in turn, gets the money in exchange for the title.  Also, all 3rd parties gets paid as well. 

When the docs goes to title and before you sign -  is the best time that we do our...


I continued… The purpose of the final walk-through and why you should do it is to make sure that nothing was taken out of the home that is suppose to go with the home, per contract.

Sample of final Walk-Through form

I’ve seen a refrigerator, washer & dryer, chandelier and sometimes, the stove or dishwasher taken out by the seller EVEN though the contract says they are to stay with the property after closing.

It’s important that we do a Final Walk-through because it's also the perfect time to check if all repairs were done properly and everything else still works.

Another Sample of the final Walk-Through form (2nd page not shown)

Depending on the repairs needed - if it was a requirement of the lender, per the appraisal, that a particular item or items are needed to be done and re-inspected by the appraiser… This time would be a good time to see if repairs were done and we can have a clearance on it from the appraiser signing off on it for the lender.

If there were any repairs agreed upon from the termite report, we would get a “clearance” from the title company signing off of the repairs being done and passing their re-inspection.  The clearance paperwork is our guarantee that work was done in satisfactorily and approved by the termite company who did the inspection.  The clearance is from their re-inspection of the property after work has been done.


Depending on your time-table, it may best to go to the title company to sign or else, if you’re willing to pay $150 or so, title can have a notary can come to your home and you can sign your loan documents there - for your convenience.

Keep in mind that signing at home delays the closing by approximately 1 day.


"At this point, you just need to do one more thing...  The rest happens at the scene."  I said.  "After signing your paperwork, you’ll need to bring the funds required to close to the title company."  

Depending on when you sign, you can bring the funds to the title company on the same day or you can bring it (or wire it) to the title company the following day.

Also, if we have NOT done Final-Walkthrough of the home - for whatever reason - now is the time to get it done before we close.

Closing could happen today (special recording) or first thing the next day.


Yes, the keys you'll get will be newer than this, but this is a great pic!

Photo by Bob M

The seller’s agent typically will leave all of the keys to the house, including the key to the mailbox.  They’ll also leave the remotes for the garage doors and all of the paperwork for the appliances, such as warranties, instructions, etc.  If not, we’ll ask for them. 

Most of the time it will take a couple of days for the agent to have the real estate sign to be removed, as well as the seller agent’s lockboxes.  So, just be patient.  They’ll be removed soon enough.


It never seems to fail... After buying a home and you've finally moved in... Many things, all of a sudden, breaks down.  A once perfectly operational appliance, electrical or plumbing, would all of a sudden not work!!  

We all laughed and agreed!  Then I said.. "That's what the Home Warranty is for."

So, if an appliance or some electrical item all of a sudden is not working, you can call the home warranty company.  For $75 to $100, they’ll come to your home and take care of those items (we will make sure we get an updated home warranty so it covers more items).  If they can’t repair the item(s), then they’ll replace it with a new one that’s at a comparable value.

The Home Warrant is well worth the price and I recommend you renew it every year!

The Starks were relieved that now have an idea of the many steps to buying a house.  They know that they’ll forget some of what we just went over, but they know that when it comes to the many steps to buying a house... I’ll be there to remind them what the next step will be... They know I'll have their backs and will be there to make sure the entire process is smooth and timely.

We’re at the early stages of the transaction, but they know what the next steps are… and they were looking forward to closing, moving in and starting their journey of being homeowners.

Go Back To   Part 1          Part 2

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About the author: All of the articles in this site were written and provided by Rico Castillo (DRE# 01234643) with Coldwell Banker.  If any information is provided by another source, such as the local MLS or by Metrolist, then a disclaimer will be on that page.

Rico can be reached by cell at (916) 934-3146 or email at   Visit his YouTube Channel at

My aim is always 100% client satisfaction by helping you accomplish your real estate goals and finding you the home you've Dreamed about in the area you and your family can feel proud and safe to live in!