A good experienced Lender can make all the difference. Shop around for a Mortgage professional not just a home. Find someone you trust to guide you through the process. Sounds like you have done some planning and have realistic expectations.
Not sure what the question is about falling out of contract. But congrats on getting lien holder approval. Hope for you this closes and contract deadlines will no longer be a concern. Nothing short about a "short" sale.
If you are serious about finding the right home - locate an agent that you feel will put your needs and wants ahead of their desire to "sell" you. I would say your first step should be really examine your budget to decide what you can afford. Be sure to factor in taxes, insurance and other fees such as condo fees, association fees or CDD fees. An experienced lender can help with those questions. I recommend a few lenders to my customers so they can find someone that they are comfortable with if- they have not already met with a lender. Budget is an important consideration. After you decide what you can afford - make sure you know what you want in a home. When I meet a customer for the first time I try to get to know there lifestyle and assess what they may be looking for. It is really helpful to have a buyer that has a pretty good idea of what type property will best suit them. If you have a large dog- you are going to want to make sure that the association will allow for pets and beyond that - you want a nice area for your pet as well. Communication is key in getting the best results from your agent. Don't hesitate to tell the agents you speak to that you have not decided on a representative as of yet. They will certainly work for you to earn your business.