Falling in love with a home can be an exhilarating experience, but it’s important to approach the process with caution. There are deal killers that can arise during a real estate transaction, some of which are avoidable and others that are not. To ensure you keep your deal alive, consider the following factors:

1. Safeguard Your Mortgage Pre-approval

Obtaining a mortgage pre-approval is an exciting step, but it’s important to understand that it doesn’t guarantee final loan approval. After receiving your pre-approval letter, the lender will begin a comprehensive review process. They will verify your employment, income, and credit, order an appraisal, and compile all the necessary paperwork for the underwriter.

The underwriter evaluates your creditworthiness and assesses your ability to repay the loan. Any significant changes to your financial situation, such as taking on new credit or switching jobs, can jeopardize your final approval. To protect your purchase, avoid making any changes that might alter your financial standing during the mortgage process.


2. Thoroughly Review Homeowners Association Documents

If you’re considering a property within a managed community governed by a homeowners association (HOA), carefully read through the associated documentation. Pay close attention to any information about property liens, ongoing litigation involving the HOA, builder, or developer, and potential issues within the HOA budget. If the documents are complex, seeking legal advice to identify any deal killers is a worthwhile investment.

It’s better to identify potential deal breakers early on rather than later in the process, so take the time to understand the implications of the HOA documents.


3. Address Home Inspection Findings

Every home, even new ones, may have some issues. It’s essential to approach the home inspection with realistic expectations. While minor problems are common, significant issues like water damage should be addressed through negotiation.

A nitpicky approach, focusing on trivial repairs or replacements, may discourage the seller and lead to a failed deal. Prioritize negotiations on significant matters, but be flexible and realistic when it comes to minor issues.


4. Be Prepared for Budgeting Challenges

When budgeting for a home purchase, it’s important to consider not just the down payment but also the closing costs. Closing costs vary based on factors such as the loan type and down payment amount, and they can catch buyers off guard.

To avoid surprises, pay close attention to communication from your lender. Review the Loan Estimate carefully, ensuring that all agreed-upon terms are included. Be aware of the estimated cost to close the loan, although this amount may change. Before closing, carefully review the final Closing Disclosure, which will provide the definitive figures for closing costs.


Choose your real estate agent wisely to benefit from their experience and expertise. Their guidance can help you navigate potential pitfalls and ensure a smooth transaction. Realtor Frank Conigliaro, is well-versed in the process and can help guide a smooth transaction. 

In conclusion, while some deal killers may be unavoidable, taking a cautious approach and seeking professional advice can help you mitigate risks and increase the chances of a successful real estate transaction. Slow down, manage your expectations, and rely on the expertise of your real estate agent or attorney for a low-stress home buying experience.