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.

Do:        Ask a local realtor for a comparative market analysis if you are considering listing your home.
Don't:   Contemplate refinancing for 2 months, list your home, then start the refinance without mentioning your home is for sale.

Do:        Tell your lender far in advance if your wife will be absent from closing and you need a Power of Attorney form.
Don't:    Inform your loan officer you need a POA for your wife, then leave town for two weeks to join her the day before your closing is scheduled.

Do:        Discuss whether you must sell your existing home to qualify for the loan on your new purchase.
Don't:   "Rent" your current home to your unemployed brother-in-law and expect to use the projected rent as qualifying income.

Do:        Examine in detail the sellers' disclosures on homes you are considering buying.
Don't:   Ask your potential new neighbors if they mind regular backyard paintball tournaments.

Do:       Ensure all your questions are answered at closing and you are comfortable with your loan.
Don't:  Cancel your refinance the third business day after closing, then call your loan officer and tell him you want to rescind your rescission.

Do:        Make sure eligible items such as parking spots and boat docks are included in your purchase offer if applicable.

Don't:   Expect the seller to "throw in" an adjoining lot without including in the final sales contract.

Do:        Bring every person on the loan to the attorney or title company office for closing.
Don't:   Tell the title company "it's OK, I sign for my wife all the time" when they ask when she will arrive.        

Do:        Carefully read all instructions from your loan officer on what documentation is required for your loan.
Don't:   Decide your lender "really doesn't need" to see your divorce decree and tax return "because they're private."

Do:       Ask your loan officer for a written rate quote and discuss how long it is valid.
Don't:  Be surprised if you call back three days later and loan pricing has changed.

Do:       Enjoy the amenities in your new subdivision including pools and bike trails.
Don't:  Race your ATV through the subdivision streets as a means of meeting your new neighbors.

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.