A home is the single biggest asset that most Americans will every own. Yet, few people really know the ins and outs of the home-buying process.

In a series of interviews with mortgage and real estate professionals, Motley Fool contributor John Maxfield uncovered a number of helpful tactics that can dramatically transform the process in both buyers and sellers' favors.

There are certain things that every person should do before buying a house. There are analogous steps one should take before selling a home as well. And there are also specific things you can do to ensure that you don't get denied for a mortgage. 

The most important lesson of all, however, was arguably the simplest. In the video below, John discusses the one piece of advice he found particularly revealing and how it could help you minimize the long-term cost of a home in the future.