How Long Does it Take to Get a Mortgage

Who is this page for?

If you’re a first time buyer or moving home, this page explains how long it takes to get a mortgage and what can speed things up. 

How long does it take to get a mortgage?

After having an offer accepted on a property and applying for a mortgage, on average it can take from two to six weeks to get a mortgage approved. Most mortgage offers are then valid for six months.

Getting a mortgage is essential to buying a home. Knowing how long your mortgage approval will take is useful to help you plan your move.

Nobody wants the process to take longer than needed. You may have a limited window to move over the summer holidays, change jobs to work in a new city or simply want to avoid holding up a chain.

How long it takes to get a mortgage depends on many factors. These can include your:

  • Credit rating
  • Results of a mortgage valuation assessment
  • Income and affordability review
  • Size of deposit
  • Employment status

Stages of the mortgage application process

Your lender will need to carry out a valuation on the home you are buying and look at your finances before approving a mortgage. A valuation from a lender is different to a survey, which you’ll arrange yourself.

To apply for a mortgage, you also have to go through a few stages. These are:

  • Mortgage interview. Before or after you apply for a mortgage, you meet with the lender or Mortgage Broker, either face-to-face or over the phone. They will ask you about your monthly spending, current debt, and commitments, plans and personal circumstances.
  • Credit checks. Your lender will assess your credit rating and history to check you are a trustworthy borrower.
  • Home valuation. To make sure the house is worth its sale price, the lender will value your new home.

When these stages are complete, you may have your mortgage approved. Learn more about how to apply for a mortgage.

A few factors can hold up the mortgage approval process:

  • A poor credit score. Lenders may deny your mortgage request until you improve your credit rating.
  • Full Buildings Survey. Any structural problems or big repairs may need fixing by the seller before your mortgage approval.
  • Missing details. Not providing enough or the right ID, payslips, proof of deposit or earnings can delay the process.
  • Property chain problems. If the seller, buyer of your home or someone else in the chain pulls out, it can slow down or cause the move to fall apart.

How long does it take to get a mortgage approved?

After you submit your application, it can take a few weeks to be approved. The exact amount of time can vary due to:

  • The lender
  • The house you buy
  • The findings of the lender's valuation
  • Your personal and financial circumstances

How long any surveys and checks take can also extend getting your mortgage approved. If you have a Mortgage Agreement in Principle, this might speed up the process, as you have already provided some key details.  

How long does it take to get a home valuation done?

It can take around two weeks to carry out a home valuation. The surveyor has to arrange a date, do the survey and write their report. Then, the mortgage lender’s underwriter will review the report to check the value is accurate and there are no issues.

When your lender reviews the home valuation and is happy with it, you may be close to being approved

How long does it take to exchange contracts?

You can normally exchange contracts around two months after your mortgage is approved and your offer on the home is accepted. It may depend on how long solicitors and surveyors take to respond, process and review reports.

The exchange of contracts is when you pay the deposit and swap contracts with the seller, making the sale legally binding. On this date, you become the new homeowner and are legally liable for it. Most people exchange contracts between 7 and 28 days before completion, but this can vary.

Your solicitor will arrange a pre-exchange meeting. Here, you can ask any questions about the house. When you are happy, they will book the completion date, when the solicitors of the buyer and seller exchange contracts.

How could you speed up buying a home?

There are a few things you can do that may speed up buying a home. This includes:

  • Check your credit report. Small errors on a credit report can hold the process up, so make sure everything is correct.
  • Keep in touch. Be in regular contact with your conveyancer and seller to make sure everything is progressing as it should.
  • Gather relevant paperwork. Ensure you have enough payslips, bank statements and the right documents to prove your earnings and ID.
  • Arrange surveys in advance. Arrange your buildings survey as soon as you are able to.
  • Deliver everything on time. Submit any paperwork and other details to your solicitor and mortgage lender early to avoid holding up the process.
  • Find a chain-free seller. Sellers who aren’t part of a chain can be faster than within a chain. You may find a home you love, but end up waiting for someone else in the chain to complete their sale.

The content on this page is for reference and does not constitute finance advice.

For impartial financial advice, we recommend government bodies like the Money Helper.

Related pages

Calculators & tools

We have a range of mortgage calculators to help you:

  • Find out how much you could borrow from Lloyds Bank
  • See how much you could save if you make overpayments on your mortgage
  • Get an idea how a change to the Bank of England Base Rate could affect your monthly payments

Use our calculators and tools >

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