How Long Does the Remortgage Process Take?

Remortgaging can be a simple, straightforward process and it is certainly possible to complete an application quickly. A remortgage can be dealt with from start to finish within a month, in some cases, it can be even quicker. The key to a smooth, efficient process is accuracy from the outset and being able to produce documents to prove the information you have provided verbally, such as how much you earn.

There are of course certain situations that are more complicated and will require more time to complete, therefore please accept the following information as an estimate and timescales may differ depending on the speed of response and complexity of the case - for example, if you are looking at remortgaging to add/remove a person from the title deeds known as a transfer of equity, the process could take longer.

The timescales set out below will give you an indication of how long you could expect the process to take, you can also expand the sections for more detailed information on each part of the process.

If you would like to discuss any part of the process or simply talk to us about a quotation please use the enquiry form and one of our dedicated Mortgage Advisors will call you back.

Initial Discussion and Fact Finding - Day 1

How long the process of remortgaging takes will depend in part on your circumstances, the first step would be to find an Advisor whether directly with an In-House Advisor of a Bank/Building Society or via a Mortgage Broker.

An Advisor of a bank/building society lender is limited to advising on products from their own product range.

A Mortgage Broker will have access to thousands of mortgage products from a panel of Lenders and will actively compare the products to find the best deal.

What you will need to provide:
  • Personal information
  • Access to a credit report
  • Details about your earnings
  • Your current mortgage arrangements
  • Details about what you are looking to achieve

An advisor may ask you to produce a credit report, but don’t worry If you do not have access to your credit file, you can normally sign up for a free trial that can be cancelled before its starts to cost, there are also credit reference agencies that are entirely free. There are benefits to an advisor having access to your credit file, it will provide a score and relevant details about your account conduct which will further help in determining which lender to consider.

Secondly, the report will detail information about any credit agreements you have or have had; this is important when submitting details to the lender, in particular, the current balances on your active agreements. You should be aware that the lender will cross reference the information submitted against what they can see on your credit file and if this information matches it will help the lender to make a decision about your application. If your credit score is less than perfect, a remortgage may still be possible, but it may impact on which lenders to consider.

You will also be asked to provide information about your earnings, it is important to be accurate here, so before speaking to an advisor make sure you have a payslip handy if you are employed or if self-employed the adviser will require at least the last two years net profit figures, you may need to speak with your accountant to obtain this information and further information may be requested at a later date.

The advisor will then provide you with a recommended product based on the information provided.

Decision in Principle - Day 2

If you are happy with the recommendation, the Advisor will obtain an agreement from the lender, often referred to as a decision in principle or agreement in principle, at this stage the Advisor will provide the lender with details about you following your agreement to do so and obtain a decision directly from the lender usually via an online system. The lender will need to determine your ability to support the mortgage based on information provided, your credit file and in some cases an internal scoring system.

You should consider the effect a credit check or multiple credit checks have on your credit file, a single credit check is unlikely to cause problems, but multiple credit checks in a short space of time will appear on your credit report and may imply that you are having difficulties in obtaining credit.

After submitting the decision in principle, the lender will produce a lending decision. The decision produced is based on the understanding the details provided are correct and therefore you will still need to produce documentary evidence/additional information to support the details provided to the lender if you decide to proceed with an application. The decision outcome provided by the lender will be one of the following:

  1. Accept – The lender is happy with the information and will consider an application.
  2. Refer – The lender may consider an application, but would like additional information/documentary evidence prior to making a decision.
  3. Decline – The lender is not willing to consider an application, it may be possible to find out why or even appeal the decision, your advisor will inform you on the best course of action.

Collecting documentation - Days 3 to 5

If the lender is happy to accept an application your advisor will make arrangements to collect the following information from you – Please bear in mind that this is a general guide, there may be additional information required depending on circumstance:

  • Proof of Name – Acceptable documents vary depending on the lender, but usually, an original valid UK passport or original valid Driving Licence will be sufficient.
  • Proof of Residency – Acceptable documents vary depending on the lender, but usually, a utility bill posted to you home address and dated within the last three months will be sufficient.
  • Proof of Income/Earnings (Employed) – Usually, it would be prudent to produce the last three months payslips. A P60 would also be beneficial if there is any additional income for example Bonus, commission or overtime.
  • Proof of Income/Earnings (Self Employed) – Usually, the last two years SA302s and corresponding tax year overview documents or last two years trading accounts or an accountant reference.
  • Bank statements – Last three months statements.
  • Any lender documents that requires a signature – A Mortgage declaration and Direct debit mandate, for example.

Full Mortgage Application - Day 6

Once you have returned the requested information, your advisor will submit a full application to the lender on your behalf.

Upon receipt of the application, the lender will carry out an assessment and request documents in support of your application. Providing the requested documents are held on file the advisor will simply forward the documents to the lender, for example, payslips/bank statements - Supplying this information at the outset can reduce delays and ensure that your application is dealt with efficiently and quickly.

Once the documents have been checked and confirmed as acceptable by the lender, your advisor will notify you and this part of the process will be complete.

Remortgage Valuation - Days 7 to 14

Your new prospective Lender will want to carry out an assessment of your property, considering both the current market value and whether the property is suitable. It is now common for the lender to include a free mortgage valuation as part of their process and therefore not a cost you will be expected to cover. For certain products/Lenders, a free valuation will not be available in which case your advisor will discuss this with you in their recommendation and before submitting the application.

There are different methods of obtaining a valuation figure, and the method used is down to the lender taking into consideration the requested loan amount and the requested loan to value (there may, however, be an opportunity to assist in this decision if you feel an internal inspection is necessary i.e works carried out to the property):

  • Desktop Valuation – This is a very quick method of valuing a property and relies on valuations carried out on similar properties in your area, there is no need for a physical valuation to take place, and the lender can confirm the valuation figure almost immediately. The drawback to this method is the accuracy - if the lender is unable to obtain the valuation figure necessary to obtain the loan amount requested, they may be able to instruct an internal inspection to provide a more accurate value.
  • Drive by Valuation – This is also a relatively quick method, the valuer visits the property but does not require access, instead an external valuation is carried out.There may be similar issues with accuracy particularly if you have carried out works within the property or to parts of the property that are not easily visible from the roadside.
  • Internal Inspection – This will provide the most accurate valuation of the property, the valuer will need to get in contact with you and discuss a suitable date to value the property.

Once the lender has received a copy of the valuation report and assessed the document,providing the property is valued at the figure estimated on the application or at least does not exceed the loan to value threshold for the particular product recommended,the application will proceed to the next stage.

Remortgage Offer - Day 15

Your new lender will be able to produce your mortgage offer once the requested supporting documents and valuation amount have been verified and deemed acceptable. The mortgage offer is a formal document detailing all aspects of the mortgage; you should read this document carefully and notify your advisor if there are any errors or if you have any questions, good practice from an advisor would be to talk through the offer fully.

Once the offer is produced you will receive a 7 day reflection period, this will give you time to decide if you want to proceed with the mortgage, your case cannot complete until the reflection period has passed, however if you are happy to proceed with the offer before your reflection period ends you will be able to waive your right to the reflection period by simply signing a waiver declaration, this is usually supplied by the solicitor working on your case.

Remortgage Completion and Conveyancing Process - Days 16 to 30

Once you have received your formal mortgage offer and have decided you are happy to proceed, the solicitor can begin the process of completing the remortgage.

At some point between submitting your application and a mortgage offer being produced a solicitor will need to be instructed to carry out the legal part of the process, in many cases the fee for using a solicitor is covered by the lender, known as the ‘free legal service’, it is important to understand that in this scenario the primary function of the solicitor is to determine whether the loan represents a good proposition for the lender, the solicitor therefore acts in the lenders’ interests, you will however be provided with support and you should always contact your broker during this part of the process, the Advisor is likely to have dealt with the solicitor before and can often provide valuable support and would normally be happy to liaise with the solicitor on your behalf. It would also be possible to instruct your own solicitor to work alongside the free legal service who would act on your behalf solely, the cost of using your own solicitor would however not be covered by the lender.

In some cases, for some lenders the free legal service is not available in which case you would be required to use and pay for your own solicitor.

Once instructed the solicitor will issue documentation that will need to be completed and returned, once the documentation is returned the solicitor will carry out a number of checks, if there are no issues the solicitor will request a redemption statement from your existing lender (if you have one) to determine the exact amount required to repay your existing mortgage, once received the solicitor will notify your new lender that they are ready to complete on your remortgage and will request your funds for a specific date, the solicitor will repay the existing mortgage on the specific date requested and any additional/surplus funds will be paid directly to you.

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