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Mortgage Offer To Completion Timescale

Property Saviour » Mortgages » Mortgage Offer To Completion Timescale

Buying a house involves many steps. It’s important to do the right things to ensure the property is yours.

Let’s take a look at the timeline for getting a mortgage offer to completion.

Table of Contents

Working with your mortgage broker

Working with a mortgage broker can save you time and money. They can connect you to the right lenders and advise on the best mortgage option for your financial situation and interest rate needs.

This can help you save time and money while ensuring that you get the right mortgage for your needs.

How long after the mortgage offer to completion?

The answer to this depends on many factors, from communication to property chains. These factors are likely to be out of your hands, but do your best to reduce the risk of delays – be responsive and make sure your solicitor is proactive.

Completion normally takes place from 1-3 months after you get your mortgage offer. It can be as quick as five working days, but this is not likely.

Mortgage Offer To Completion Timescale
A mortgage offer is when your loan is accepted and the lender confirms they are happy to give you the money you need for the property.

What is a mortgage offer?

A mortgage offer is when your mortgage application is accepted, and the lender confirms they are happy to give you the money you need for the property. This takes place after they have done the mortgage valuation. Note: A mortgage agreement, in principle, is not a confirmation.

Your mortgage offer should state exactly how much the lender is willing to let you borrow and any conditions, such as paying off any other loans first (e.g. credit cards). Your solicitor will be the main contact for the mortgage lender.

So, what needs to happen from the mortgage offer to completion? If you accept the mortgage offer, what next?

Your solicitor will arrange a date to exchange contracts (the point where the sale is legally binding). They will also exchange signed contracts and agree on a completion date. This is all handled by your solicitor as part of the conveyancing process.

Key stages 

What happens at some of the key stages between exchange and completion?

Exchange of contracts

At exchange in England and Wales, a sale becomes legally binding. This is known as a ‘missive’ in Scotland. There are a few things which happen at this point, such as:

  1. Swapping signed contracts,
  2. Paying the deposit,
  3. Paying stamp duty,
  4. Transferring deeds,
  5. Registering the new ownership with the Land Registry.

It is important to take out home insurance from the moment contracts are exchanged, as you become legally responsible for the property at this point – which is usually a requirement from your mortgage lender.

The process of exchanging contracts can take around two months, although this can vary depending on the efficiency of both solicitors.

sold subject to contract
Completion usually takes place between one and three months after you get your mortgage offer.


Completion usually takes place between one and three months after you get your mortgage offer. This can vary, depending on whether you’re part of a chain and how quickly your solicitor works. On ‘completion day’ you can usually get the keys and move in.

Before that happens, it’s helpful to have a pre-moving checklist – here are a few things to bear in mind:

  • Notifying your bank of your new address
  • Setting up mail redirection
  • Registering to vote
  • Booking a removals company

What happens if a mortgage application is declined?

Even if you manage to get a decision in principle, your mortgage could still be declined.

This is usually due to the mortgage broker and could be for a few reasons, for example:

It’s not common for lenders to reassess finances after granting a final offer. To ensure you’re not stuck in a difficult situation, try to complete your purchase as soon as you can after exchanging contracts.

That way you’ll reduce the risk of being legally required to buy a property without having the money to pay for it.

What happens if your mortgage offer expires before completion?

Most mortgage offers last between three and six months. If you’re unable to complete it within this timeframe, your offer may expire before you buy the property.

In this case, you may need to apply for a mortgage again. However, you should contact your lender and let them know if you’re unlikely to meet the deadline; they may be sympathetic and grant you an extension.

Possible extensions could include:

  1. Extending the current offer,
  2. Extending your mortgage deal,
  3. Delaying the start of your mortgage deal,
  4. Or offering you a new mortgage product.

Can you increase your mortgage offer?

If the seller changes the purchase price before contracts are exchanged, you might be able to get a better mortgage. Unfortunately, ‘gazumping‘ still happens, despite it being seen as wrong. Ultimately, the decision is yours to make.

If you do decide to get a different mortgage, the interest rate may not be as good, so make sure to check everything before signing.

Buying a home can be complicated, so don’t be pressured into paying more than the property is worth. Speak to your solicitor for advice should you find yourself in this situation.

Why can completion be delayed
Not having immediate access to the money needed for Stamp Duty (first-time buyers don't pay anything on the first £425,000),

Why can completion be delayed? 

In some cases, delaying completion can be a mutually beneficial situation. However, allowing the process to linger for too long can be a risky endeavour.

There may be reasons that completion takes longer, such as:

  • Not having immediate access to the funds for deposit,
  • Not having immediate access to the money needed for Stamp Duty (first-time buyers don’t pay anything on the first £425,000),
  • A break in the property chain (e.g. the seller’s onward purchase falling through).

How to speed things up?

Everyone involved in the house-buying process should do their best to ensure delays don’t drag out unnecessarily. Here are a few tips to help you:

  1. Make sure you have the names and contact info of everyone in the purchasing chain.
  2. Be quick to respond and keep communication open.
  3. Work closely with your solicitor to make sure everything runs smoothly.
  4. Establish a good relationship with the seller.
  5. Get organised and prepare ahead of time.

Accepting your mortgage offer

Your solicitor or conveyancer will inform you if there is anything you need to do before signing and sending back the mortgage offer to us. In many cases, you can sign your documents electronically – if so, we’ll include the instructions on how to do that in your offer.

Accepting mortgage offer
Once your mortgage offer is accepted, your solicitor can begin the last step of purchasing your property.

Completing your purchase

Once your mortgage offer is accepted, your solicitor can begin the last step of purchasing your property. They’ll arrange a date to exchange contracts with the seller, which will set out all of the details of the agreement such as what is included in the purchase price, terms, and conditions.

If you have any questions about exchanging contracts, your solicitor can help (in Scotland, this process is known as the ‘exchange of missives’).

In England, Wales, or Northern Ireland, this is when you officially commit to buying the property.

What if the seller tries gazumping the price?

If the seller tries to raise the purchase price or suggests they’re open to a bigger offer, we can’t tell you what to do – speak to your solicitor about that. But if you’d like to know more about your mortgage options before you answer, speak to your mortgage adviser.

Make sure you’re covered

Your mortgage adviser has already discussed setting up buildings, contents, and life insurance with you – your building cover must begin on the day of completion. If you haven’t already arranged home contents and life insurance, you should think about doing so now.

Sell to us!

At Property Saviour, we specialise in providing a swift and efficient service for those who need to sell their home quickly. Our process can even be used for all sorts of properties, including with tenants in situ.

We are proud to be able to buy any house, regardless of its location or condition, with cash in as little as 10 days if required.

We have helped thousands of people complete a fast and stress-free house sale across the UK. We are ready to purchase your property with our funds at a set price by a date of your choosing, handling everything from start to finish.

If you would like to receive a cash offer for your house, please fill out our enquiry form.

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Property Saviour Price Promise

  • The price we’ll offer is the price that you will receive with no hidden deductions.
  • Be careful with ‘cash buyers’ who require a valuation needed for a mortgage or bridging loan.
  • These valuations or surveys result in delays and price reductions later on.
  • We are cash buyers.  There are no surveys.
  • We always provide proof of funds with every formal offer issued.

We'll Pay £1,500 Towards Your Legal Fees

  • No long exclusivity agreement to sign because we are the buyers.
  • You are welcome to use your own solicitor. 
  • If you don’t have one, we can ask our solicitors for recommendations.
  • We share our solicitor’s details and issue a Memorandum of Sale. 

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  • 100% Discretion guaranteed. 
  • If you have another buyer, you can put us in a contracts race to see who completes first.
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