Got a phone call recently from a contractor doing a job in the $150K range. Everything is fine, contract signed, and the job is going great.
Problem was he asked for his down payment (after the job started) and the owner said, "Well, ummm, the bank hasn't approved the loan yet."
I told him to shut that job down right away. Or sooner. The longer he works, the more money he has to lose if he isn't paid. He can explain to the owner the job will start again when the financing is approved and the down payment made.
Yes he has a contract, yes the people are happy. But tell me what happens if the bank calls the owner and tells them they only qualify for 65% of the contract price?
Don't start a job without a down payment AND the customer's financing completely approved. If you cut corners, it can cost you.