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How Long Does a Mortgage Offer Last?

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When you finally receive that mortgage offer, you no doubt start envisaging what you are going to do to the house you have set your heart on. Ideas of decorating, making it your own and just maybe finally having your forever home. It is probably best not to get carried away though. Things can still go wrong and in property transactions, it can be quite frequent, especially when there is a large chain involved.

The huge bonus of a mortgage offer is that it’s been granted after a successful mortgage application meaning you pass the criteria to be lent the money. This is certainly a step in the right direction. The next benefit is that it grants you time. A standard mortgage offer can last anything from 3-6 months meaning that you have options should you be moving out of rented accommodation, or you need time to access your deposit funds for example.

How do you get a mortgage offer?

Having scoured the property pages and online estate agents for your dream home, you will want to see whether a lender is happy to loan you the funds you need to secure it but before you can go as far as receiving a firm mortgage offer you will need to carry out a few steps to help put you in the strongest position possible.

  • Ensure all financial documents are readily available for any mortgage application. This will include bank statements, proof of identity and any financial commitments you may have.
  • Secure a mortgage in principle, this will show an estimate of what a lender believes is possible to lend you. It is not to be confused with a mortgage offer though!
  • Shop around for mortgages, there are a variety of them out there with varying interest rates, lengths and terms.
  • A lender will always want to know how much you aim to borrow. If you secure a valuation report, it will show that the property is worth what you are planning to pay. This helps give the lender much more confidence in your application.
  • Secure your mortgage offer by completing the above steps and applying for the mortgage. The offer can be granted in a few days as long as a valuation report has been completed but do not be surprised to see it take up to six weeks.

What is the difference between a mortgage offer and a mortgage in principle?

Whereas a mortgage offer is what the lender is willing to lend you, a mortgage in principle or agreement in principle is what you could be offered. It does not mean that you will be offered that amount. Instead, after an assessment of some basic information you are given a figure that some lenders would be willing to let you borrow. With an actual mortgage offer, you will be required to provide much more in-depth information in your application.

The mortgage in principle stands to give you a good idea of the properties you could afford and then help when you approach estate agents about properties you are interested in. These normally last for up to 90 days before you will have to apply for another one.

How long does a mortgage offer take?

The varying circumstances that can interfere with property transactions mean that you can wait just a few days for a mortgage offer but in some cases be waiting for a few weeks. This all comes down to a mixture of your level of preparation and the lender’s level of assessments. For example, the sooner you accept the MIP, the sooner you can progress to an actual application. For the actual application, you will need to provide as a minimum:

  • 3 months of payslips
  • Proof of identity
  • 3 months of bank statements
  • 3 months of utility bills

More information can be required and that will all depend on your circumstances and the criteria that the lender works to. Be prepared to wait for anything from 2-6 weeks.

Can I get a mortgage offer before I find a property?

An actual offer of a mortgage can only be granted once you have chosen a property. A lender wants to know as much information about the property as possible before committing to lending towards its purchase. They want to check the value as well as whether it is a suitable investment for them. Some properties are often unfavoured by mortgage lenders so ensuring you have all the information relating to the construction of the property, its location and its age will help you find the right lender for you as well as answer any questions lenders may have.

How long is a mortgage offer valid for?

Depending on the policy of the lender you have chosen, a mortgage offer will normally last for 3-6 months and this period can start from when the offer was issued or from when you first apply. This is something worth checking with any mortgage lender to ensure you are not caught out. In some cases, rather than a date of expiry of the offer, a lender will indicate a date that the purchase must be completed.

How long do I have before committing to a mortgage offer?

Once your mortgage offer has been received, you have a period, normally 7 days, where you can review it and be sure you are happy to proceed with the terms. If you get cold feet and no longer wish to proceed, you will need to inform your lender that you are no longer able to go ahead. This could result in cancellation fees so this decision should not be taken lightly.

Can I extend a mortgage offer?

In some cases, a mortgage offer can be extended but this is at the discretion of the lender. Where possible, extensions are normally granted in 3–6-month increments.  If purchasing a new build, you may have a potentially easier time securing an extension especially if the request for needing one is due to delays in the construction of the property.

If you were not able to get an extension granted, then you would have to apply again which would see the process start over.

Could a mortgage offer be withdrawn?

A mortgage offer is normally made when a detailed assessment of your circumstances and finances has been carried out so should nothing change in your life then it is unlikely an offer will be withdrawn. However, should you become unemployed, stop working due to ill health, or find that the property has lost significant value, a lender may withdraw the offer.

A mortgage can be a complicated process if not completed correctly. Always seek advice from a respected mortgage advisor or bank to find the best options for you. Should you be looking to raise funds for a deposit on your forever home, speak to us! At SOLD.CO.UK we not only sell your house for free with no fees, or legal costs, we sell it fast! In fact, we sell faster than any estate agent in the UK! Get a free house valuation today so you can get moving tomorrow!

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