How long does a mortgage contract take?

14 replies
Found 20th Jul 2007
Me and my girlfriend have finally decided to get off the renting ladder and climb the property one instead, so we've just started looking around at houses.

This morning, I got a phone call from the estate agents I rent through and they say that my lease is up at the end of August and not the end of September that they originally told me (to be honest I always thought it was August in the back of my mind!) so me and the missus are now frantically looking for mortgages.

We know the swapping of contracts and solicitors will be a bit slow, but we just want to know how long it normally takes for a bank to offer you an amount. It looks like we'll be heading back to my parents house while all the contract wrangling is sorted out.

This morning I've applied online at lloyds tsb and nationwide, with alliance & leicester and NHS mortgages (my girlfriends employer) calling us back over the weekend.

Also, if anyone knows of a great mortgage, I'm a very receptive person with lots of rep to give away!



Original Poster

Yeah, I know about the solicitors, my bro went through it all when he tried to move in time for Christmas.

I just want the offer, then I can bid on a house, then once it's accepted I can just sit back, relax, and let my mum cook my dinner for me until it's sorted between the solicitors.


I have worked for both estate agents and solicitors.

The average length of time to complete is 3 months. It can be done in 6/8 weeks if you are lucky. But, you depend on so many people and they don't all work at the same pace.

It all depends on the chain.

You can hurry you own solictor up, but not anyone elses in the chain.

Mortgages are agree in principal very quickly though.


You can compare all the lender rates ]here

As Prissy said, you could be looking at anywhere between 8 & 12 weeks.. maybe more if you're buying into a chain.

I think the question was how long does it take to get a mortgage "offer" from the bank?

If so, about an hour if you go see them personally - they ask you loads of questions, then tell you how much you can have & give you an agreement in principle that you can use to show a potential seller that your serious about buying a house !

Good Luck mate

ps - where are you looking to buy ?

Chris UK is spot on. You should get a decision "in principal" straight away.

If you can find a property where the seller is not buying anything then there will be no chain and you should be able to complete quite quickly. Just make sure your lender gets the survey done quickly as this tends to be the hold up in most cases.

Any questions about the legal side of things just drop me a pm and I will be happy to help.

Original Poster

Thanks to everyone who's helped. No doubt it's going to be a stressful few weeks anyway, and that's just moving back home.

No doubt I'll be asking for help along the way.

This really is the greatest forum on the net.

I wish you all the luck in the world and hope it all goes quickly and smoothly for you both.

By the way, ours took 7 weeks from start to finish and that included Christmas!

Keep us informed :thumbsup:

then best to get a mortgage is not ur highn street bank its through a broker(whole market broker). if u go from one bank to another, u ruin ur credit

As others have said mortgage offer from lender in hours or a few days. Mortgage process should NOT take months, if it does (and its not a chain where someone has not even sold their place yet) then someone is dragging their feet. With modern communications, email and fax, lawyers don't need to send letters to other lawyers. You should be looking nowadays to complete from offer to keys in 4 to 6 weeks. I did my last one in 5 weeks. Keep on top of your lawyer (or conveyencer) because they can sometimes slack and you're paying them. Always remember that you're paying for a service and you expect them to provide that service. If the lawyer isn't answering your calls etc. then sack them. Sharp intake of breath! Gasp! You're perfectly entitled to do so and bring in someone else.

If you have no chain your end and the house you purchase has no chain then it can be done in about 4-8 weeks.Thats exchanging contracts etc.
Im going through a remortgage with halifax and they offered me my mortgage on completion of questions which was done via online at an estate agent. Then mortgage offer was sent to me vias post. ( verbally agreed though)
When you have a mortgage offer verbally etc get hunting for places.The more you get sorted the faster it will be. Keep on solicitors toes, pressing you want urgent exchange of contracts etc.
Keep pressing and it CAN be sorted quick.

My parents bought this house for 60k back in 1993 and took out a loan of 30k

The house is now worth about 350k but thye are still paying back the mortgage - they have paid about 600k just for interest and in about 2 years they will have to pay off the 30k they borrowed

They had some plan where you got money back at the end but now you cant get that - endowment or something


They had some plan where you got money back at the end but now you cant … They had some plan where you got money back at the end but now you cant get that - endowment or something

Hhhmm, doesn't sound right. If it was an endowment (sounds like one) they could possibly claim for being mis-sold one. ]Article here plus info on MSE.

deffo endowments are not covering, i changed mine to repayment! Safer! I dont want to be stuck paying when the endowment didnt cover it loan!


Hhhmm, doesn't sound right. If it was an endowment (sounds like one) … Hhhmm, doesn't sound right. If it was an endowment (sounds like one) they could possibly claim for being mis-sold one. ]Article here plus info on MSE.

Mum said its now closed the deadline of claiming it and they forgot to do it
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