Here's another weekly installment of Do's and Don't's for prospective borrowers embarking on, or already engaged in the home mortgage process.  In case it needs to be said, the "Don't's" are strictly for comedy (though most are based on real world examples of things that will kill or greatly delay the mortgage process). 

The "do's," on the other hand, are potentially valuable nuggets of information that may greatly benefit your mortgage experience.  In fact, most of them can end up making a difference in the success or failure of a loan, and at the very least, can help avoid costly delays

:       Discuss the amount appropriate for your earnest money deposit with your agent.
Don’t:   Submit a purchase offer, but inquire whether your realtor can "forget to deposit the earnest money check for a while" until your next paycheck hits.

DO:       Specify if appliances are included in your purchase offer.
Don’t:   Include the seller's antique flatware, furniture, and flat screen TVs on the sales contract.

DO:      Verify you are on the same page with your loan officer concerning your rate lock and completing your transaction before the lock expires.
Don’t:  Schedule your closing for the day your lock expires, then recall you have a Las Vegas bachelorette party and ask to reschedule the closing "a week or two" later.

DO:      Accompany your home inspector and get his thoughts on the condition of your potential new home.
Don’t:  Ask whether the $395 inspection fee includes the use of his pickup on moving day.

DO:      Make sure your teenage son picks up his room prior to the appraiser taking pictures of it.
Don't:  Inquire whether your appraiser will tidy up your son's room before he takes required photos.

DO:       Confirm when the first payment on your new loan is due.
Don’t:   Ask "if it matters if you are a month or so late" on your first mortgage payment since you just bought $7,500 worth of furniture for your new home.

DO:      Come to closing prepared to ask questions and confirm the terms of your loan.
Don’t:  Show up at closing expecting to renegotiate the terms of the loan and ask for spontaneous lender concessions.

DO:      Look at county collector records to be sure the property taxes shown on home's listing sheet are accurate.
Don’t:  Ask your prospective neighbors' names so you can peruse municipal legal records to see if any have lengthy arrest records.

DO:      Tell your lender your complete employment history for  the past two years.
Don’t:   Forget to tell your lender if you quit your prior job Thursday and now work for your dad's 3 month old business.

DO:      Take a picture of your ecstatic family with the "SOLD" sign in yard of your new home.
Don’t:   Place a "SOLD" sign in front of a home you're considering buying to discourage other offers. 

Above all else, DO remember that your loan originator wants to close your loan as quickly and as efficiently as you and the good ones fully appreciate that their borrowers' satisfaction plays a huge role in their long term success.