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How Long Does A Mortgage Application Take?

Mortgage application

For many, navigating through the labyrinth of paperwork and procedures of a mortgage application can be daunting, especially when faced with the uncertainty of how long the process might take. In this article, we'll unravel the timeline of a mortgage application in the UK, shedding light on the various stages and factors that influence its duration.

The Application Process

  1. Preparation Phase (1-2 weeks): Before diving into the formal application, potential homebuyers often spend time preparing their financial documents. This phase involves gathering proof of income, bank statements, details of debts and expenses, and any additional documentation required by the chosen lender. The duration of this stage depends on individual readiness and organisation.

  2. Initial Application (1 week): Once all necessary documents are assembled, the applicant submits their initial application to the chosen lender. This includes providing personal and financial information, as well as details about the desired mortgage amount and property. Lenders typically take up to 1 week to review this information and provide a decision in principle (DIP) or agreement in principle (AIP), indicating the amount they are willing to lend, however, this can be as quick as 1 day. For help working our how much you can borrow you can either jump over to our affordability calculator or take a look at 'How Mortgage Lenders Assess Affordability'

  3. Property Valuation (1-2 weeks): After receiving the DIP or AIP, the lender proceeds with a valuation of the property. This step ensures that the property's value aligns with the proposed mortgage amount. Depending on factors such as property location and type, this valuation can take 1-2 weeks to complete.

  4. Formal Application (1-2 weeks): With a satisfactory property valuation, the applicant moves forward with the formal mortgage application. This stage involves completing detailed application forms provided by the lender and may require additional documentation or clarification on certain aspects. The duration varies based on the complexity of the application and the efficiency of communication between the applicant and the lender.

  5. Underwriting and Approval (1-2 weeks): Once the formal application is submitted, the lender's underwriting team assesses the applicant's financial circumstances, credit history, and the property itself. They may request further documentation or clarification during this stage. The underwriting process typically takes 1-2 weeks, depending on the lender's workload and the complexity of the application.

  6. Mortgage Offer (1-2 weeks): Upon successful completion of the underwriting process, the lender issues a formal mortgage offer to the applicant. This document outlines the terms and conditions of the loan, including the interest rate, repayment schedule, and any associated fees. The applicant reviews the offer and, if satisfied, proceeds to the next stage.

  7. Legal Process (8-12 weeks): Simultaneously with the mortgage offer, the applicant engages solicitors or conveyancers to handle the legal aspects of the property purchase. This includes conducting searches, reviewing contracts, and ensuring all legal requirements are met. The duration of this stage can vary widely, ranging from 8 to 12 weeks or more, depending on factors such as the complexity of the property title and the efficiency of legal professionals involved. For more information on what the legal process involves, take a look at 'What is the Conveyancing Process When Buying a House in the UK' or 'What Are Property Searches'

  8. Completion (1-2 weeks): Once all legal and financial arrangements are in place, the parties involved agree on a completion date. On the agreed-upon date, funds are transferred, and ownership of the property is transferred to the buyer. This typically occurs 1-2 weeks after the mortgage offer is accepted, though the exact timing may vary depending on individual circumstances and logistical factors.

Factors Affecting Timeline

  • Lender's Processes: Different lenders have varying processes and turnaround times for mortgage applications.

  • Applicant's Preparedness: The speed at which an applicant provides required documents and responds to queries can impact the overall timeline.

  • Property Type and Location: Factors such as property type, location, and valuation complexity can affect the speed of the process.

  • Market Conditions: High demand or fluctuations in the property market may influence the availability of mortgage products and processing times.

  • Legal Procedures: Delays in the legal process, such as searches or contract negotiations, can extend the overall timeline.


Navigating the mortgage application process in the UK involves several stages, each with its own timeline and considerations. While the process can vary in duration depending on individual circumstances and external factors, understanding the typical timeline can help applicants better prepare and manage expectations. By staying organised, proactive, and well-informed throughout the process, aspiring homeowners can streamline their mortgage application journey and move closer to securing their dream property.

The best way to make any mortgage application feel easy it to work with a good mortgage adviser who can do all of the above for you. Not only that, but they will also ensure your getting the best possible rate that fits your personal circumstances. In the long run they are there to save you time and hopefully, hundreds if not thousands of pounds. More information can be found in our other blog '5 Reasons To Use A Mortgage Broker'

Greymere Finance is an award winning mortgage broker ready to help talk you through the next steps in landing your dream home.

For help, please visit our Contact us page


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