Closing on your home can be a very exciting time, but for many, it can turn into a disaster. What you see isn’t always what you get. So how does this happen?

The answer is slightly complicated.

When you buy a home, you rely on the real estate agent, home seller and the inspector to be open and honest with you. You expect them to disclose all the pros and cons of the property and you rely on their word. The sad fact is however, not everyone is truthful.

In many cases, there are problems with the house that nobody tells you about and you don’t see until you get settled in. For one couple, this meant finding out that water leaked into the basement every time it rained. The home seller, however, had repainted the entire basement to hide the water damage so the problem went unnoticed until after the sale of the home.

In another case, an inspector may tell you that a problem in the house is a simple and cheap repair that ends up costing the buyer thousands of dollars. In these cases, you should ask that the repairs be done before you purchase the home.

And even more people run into troubles purchasing a home because the paperwork has not been filled out legally. Each state has different laws for selling a home. Different forms must be filled out and certain legal language must be used in each one. If the paperwork is not written up properly or signed correctly, you may find out months or years later that the closing was not legal and therefore not final.

And then there’s the issue we have all become aware of in the last few years–the burst of the housing bubble. Many people have bought property in a housing complex that has since gone bankrupt, leaving their home, or half built home, the only structure standing in a desolate area.

So before you purchase your home, make sure to not only check it out thoroughly, but get second opinions as well as do research behind the area and the people involved to make sure that when you close your home, you know what you are getting into.

This post was written by Stephen Hachey. Follow Stephen on Google, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.