Steps in the mortgage approval process – Mortgage timeline
Before looking for a property you need to decide on your budget. How much you can afford will often depend on how much you can borrow. The first step is therefore to get an agreement in principle from a mortgage provider. This will also put you in a much stronger position when negotiating the purchase of your new property.
When you have found a property and had your offer accepted then you need to complete the mortgage application form for approval as the first step in the mortgage approval process.
The institution (bank or building society) will then write for references, possibly including proof of income, from your employers.
Additional information may be requested including bank statements.
The mortgage approval process up to this stage used to take 2 – 3 weeks but with the additional checks and interview introduced in 2014 this can now take up to 6 weeks, particularly if there are any problems at all with your credit rating. This has significantly increased the length of the mortgage timeline. (Make sure this is sorted out before you apply for a mortgage – you have been warned!)
The bank or building society will then instruct a surveyor to carry out a valuation survey for mortgage purposes to assess the loan to value ratio. This will determine how much they will be prepared to lend on the actual property you are interested in purchasing. The time this takes varies but again allow anything up to 2 – 3 weeks.
The report from the valuation survey is returned to the lender.
Subject to satisfactory references and survey valuation, a formal offer of mortgage will be drawn up and sent to you or your solicitor.
After discussing with your solicitor, if you are happy with your mortgage offer sign and return it to the lender.
Overall expect the mortgage approval process to take anything up to 6 – 10 weeks in total. You may be luckier but don’t bank on it.