Even if you haven’t bought your own house, chances are you’ve heard friends and family members talking about the process. And one thing that most people can agree on is that it can take a long time. But in between all the solicitors, negotiations and eventual key collection, there are many queries that first-time buyers have, and one of the most frequently asked questions we receive is ‘how long does it take to release mortgage funds?’
Most of us have to take out a mortgage in order to buy a new property, but getting the money from the mortgage provider to the vendor varies from lender to lender. So when exactly you can expect the money to land in the seller’s account so that you can move into your new home? And is there anything you can do to speed up the process?
Today, we’re going to answer those questions, and many more, as we take a good look at how long it takes a lender to release mortgage funds.
At What Stages are Funds Needed?
The process of buying a house pretty much starts from the moment you make an offer and it is accepted by the vendor. From that point, solicitors for both parties will start proceedings for transferring the ownership from the seller to you. This involves a lot of different people, including conveyancers, solicitors and, of course, mortgage lenders.
In the early stages, the solicitors will draw up an initial contract that details things such as the final agreed price of the property, along with any other terms and conditions that you and/or the vendor have proposed. This is also the stage where you will need to have a mortgage agreed in principle.
As you move towards the final stages of purchasing your new home, you will need to finalise your mortgage and arrange for your deposit amount to be sent to your solicitors, ready to go to the vendor. Finally, it’s time to exchange contracts, release the mortgage funds and collect your keys.
Of course, this is a very simplified version of a rather complicated and potentially long process, and it often leaves first-time buyers wondering when exactly the mortgage company will pay out. We’ve all heard that the money is only released the day before completion, but is that true? And, if so, is there anything you can do to speed up this process?
Let’s find out.
How Long Does It Take to Release Mortgage Funds?
The exact time that a mortgage lender will release funds varies depending on your lender, but as a general rule of thumb, you are probably looking at between 3 and 7 days. This is the time it takes for the mortgage funds to be approved, released and to reach the account of your solicitor, ready to be passed on to the vendor, as you exchange contracts and complete the purchase of the property.
The main reason that it can take time for your mortgage funds to be released is that, during this period, the lender carries out various money laundering checks, in line with the anti-money laundering (AML) legislation in the UK. Therefore, you have to sit tight while the mortgage lender runs these checks and, if you haven’t already, you can expect to be asked to submit things such as a photo ID, proof of address and also a proof of the source of funds to comply with AML regulations.
If you’re up to date on absolutely everything, you can ask your solicitor to request for the funds to be released earlier than scheduled. However, it is not generally a process that can be rushed. That said, there are some things that you can do to make sure that the process is not held up at your end either.
For instance, make sure that all other paperwork is up to date and that you are not waiting on anything from your solicitor to make it into the final contract, as this can hold up proceedings. Also, ensure that you don’t have any outstanding payments for things like conveyancing, surveys or taxes that could delay the overall process.
How can the Process be Sped Up?
In short, you can’t speed up this process. With all the money laundering checks that need to be fulfilled, as well as solicitors from both parties going back and forth, there’s no real way to speed up the process of releasing mortgage funds. But again, you have the ability to make sure that this process is not held up unnecessarily.
For example, ensure that your deposit is in an accessible place and that it has cleared well in advance of your completion date. Also, make sure that funds are available to pay any additional fees, like stamp duty or outstanding solicitor’s bills. Finally, make sure that you always have your proof of the source of funds, as with the AML legislation, in case you are asked at any stage during this process to provide these documents..
Additional advice from our expert team
As we’ve seen, buying a house can be a rather complex affair that involves lots of different parties, including mortgage lenders. But with a great solicitor and all your paperwork up to date, there’s no reason why your mortgage funds should be held up as you complete the purchase of your wonderful new home.
Remember, there isn’t much that you can do to speed up the process, but there is plenty you can do to ensure it isn’t delayed either. Therefore, for the most seamless and fuss-free experience, check back with this article to refresh yourself on how long it takes for mortgage funds to be released. And don’t forget to check out our other guides on property investment advice in the UK.