I have found that the single biggest hurdle in Real Estate from a buying point of view is EXPECTATION!
What do I mean by that? Here is an example; a buyer wants to buy in Williamson County, wants great schools, large lot, hardwoods etc. In the area they want the homes are older but solidly built. The expectation problem? That for a great price the home will have newer roof, HVAC, Water heater as well as no other major problems. The price was negotiated down 10,000 and is a steal without the newer items. The buyer wants those items, the unrealistic expectation is that a home that fits these parameters can be found in this particular area in the price range desired.
There has to be give somewhere. Either you pay more and get newer(possibly less lot size however). Or if you are looking at "older" homes, you go into it with the knowledge that probably some of the components will be , gasp, "older". We all want everything our way and the best deal ever, but reasonable expectation is a must or you find yourself on the offer/rescind roller coaster, and that my friends is exhausting all the way around.
My advice? Sit down before hand and write out a list of things you MUST have in a home followed by things you would like and things that are no big deal. Really think about it, make sure your price range fits the desired amenities. Get your REALTOR involved ASAP, and be willing to compromise to get the most important items on your list. Don't let fear drive the bus, get experienced advice from contractors, inspectors and finance people versus your friends and well meaning family members. The experts do this all day long, listen to them.
That is my take, what's yours?!