You’ve found your dream home and had your offer accepted. Now, it’s time to focus on securing a mortgage swiftly, ensuring a smooth transition from offer to closing. In this guide we’ll explore strategies, the quickest lenders and tips to expedite the mortgage approval process, allowing you to move forward with confidence. By taking proactive steps and understanding the key factors involved, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate the journey towards a quick mortgage turnaround.

Securing a quick mortgage approval

A quick mortgage approval offers several benefits for homebuyers. Firstly, it allows you to secure your dream home promptly, reducing the risk of losing it to other buyers. Secondly, it saves you valuable time and minimises stress during the application process. A fast mortgage approval can provide a competitive advantage when negotiating with sellers. Lastly, it enables you to proceed with confidence and start planning for your new home sooner.

How quickly can you get a mortgage approved?

Typically, the timeframe for mortgage approval can range from 10 days to 3 weeks, but it’s important to note that it can vary. Several factors contribute to the speed of approval, including:

  • Lender Policies and Workload: Different lenders have varying processes and workloads, which can impact the approval timeline. Some lenders may have more streamlined processes or prioritise quick approvals, while others might take longer due to a higher volume of applications.
  • Document Preparation: The speed at which you gather and provide the necessary documents to your lender significantly affects the approval timeline. Being well-prepared and submitting all required documentation promptly can expedite the process.
  • Property Valuation: The time taken for a property valuation can also impact the overall approval timeline. Appraisal schedules and the availability of qualified appraisers in your area can influence how quickly this step is completed.
  • Communication and Responsiveness: Effective communication with your lender, promptly responding to their requests for additional information or clarifications, and addressing any concerns can help speed up the approval process.

Mortgage applications that involve adverse credit or specialist lenders, as well as complex cases, may take longer than the typical timeframe mentioned earlier. In such situations, the approval process can often range from 3 to 5 weeks.

These cases require additional assessment and due diligence by the lender to evaluate the associated risks. Factors such as credit history, previous financial difficulties, self-employment, or non-standard property types can contribute to the complexity of the application.

How to speed up your mortgage approval

Here are some effective strategies to speed up your mortgage approval process:

  • Check Lender Service Level Agreements (SLAs): Consult with your mortgage broker to understand the current service level agreements of different lenders. This will give you an idea of the expected turnaround times for different mortgage lenders.
  • Choose Lenders with Quick Turnaround: Research and identify lenders known for their quick approval process. Your mortgage broker can provide insights into lenders who prioritise fast approvals and have efficient systems in place.
  • Obtain an Agreement in Principle (AIP) in Advance: Get an AIP from your chosen lender before starting your property search. This preliminary assessment provides an indication of how much you can borrow and demonstrates your seriousness to sellers, potentially expediting the offer acceptance process.
  • Organise Your Documents: Gather and organise all the necessary documents required for the mortgage application process. This includes income verification, bank statements, tax returns, identification, proof of deposit and any other supporting documentation. Having these documents readily available will save time when submitting your application.
  • Assess Mortgage Broker Capacity: Before applying, discuss with your mortgage broker their workload and capacity. Ensure they have the resources and availability to give your application the attention it needs. A well-prepared and responsive broker can help speed up the approval process.
  • Respond Promptly to Queries and Document Requests: If the lender or underwriter requests additional information or documentation, respond as soon as possible. Delays in providing requested information can slow down the approval process. Stay in regular communication with your mortgage broker to ensure timely responses.

By following these steps and maintaining effective communication with your mortgage broker and lender, you can help expedite your mortgage approval process and increase your chances of a quick turnaround.

Which lenders have the fastest approval times?

While turnaround times can vary depending on individual circumstances, several lenders are generally known for their relatively quick mortgage approval process. Here are some examples:

  • Halifax: Halifax is often recognised for its efficient mortgage approval process, with a reputation for quick turnarounds.
  • Barclays: Barclays is another lender known for its streamlined mortgage application process and prompt approvals.
  • NatWest: NatWest is often praised for its efficient service and timely mortgage approvals, making it a popular choice for borrowers seeking a quick turnaround.
  • HSBC: HSBC is known to offer a smooth and efficient mortgage application process, often resulting in relatively fast approvals.

Remember that these observations are based on general trends and may not apply to every situation.

Speed isn’t always everything

When applying for a mortgage, it’s important to note that different lenders have varying turnaround times. It’s worth remembering that the overall home purchase process typically takes several months, and delays caused solely by the mortgage approval itself are rare. The mortgage application itself usually takes weeks, while the entire purchase process takes months.

While it may be tempting to choose the lender with the quickest turnaround time to gain peace of mind sooner, it’s essential to consider the cost-effectiveness of such an option. Opting for the quickest lender may not always be the most cost-effective choice. If time is not a pressing concern, it’s crucial to weigh the option of a faster lender against potentially cheaper alternatives.

Do self-employed mortgages take longer than employed mortgages?

Yes, generally, self-employed mortgage applications can sometimes take longer than employed mortgage applications. This is because they may require additional documentation, such as projections from an accountant, and the underwriting process for business accounts can be more time-consuming compared to verifying payslips for employed individuals.

Speak To an Expert

Whether you’ve just had an offer accepted on a property and you’re ready to go, or you’re simply wondering how much you need to save for a deposit, it’s never too soon to reach out.

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Mortgage turnaround times (Service level agreements)

Checking a mortgage lender’s timescales for various stages of the application process can be done by visiting their intermediaries’ websites. Lenders often provide information on their websites regarding the average times it takes to assess documents, instruct valuations, and complete the application to offer turnaround.

By reviewing this information, you can get a clear understanding of the lender’s efficiency and expected timelines. This allows you to make an informed decision when choosing a lender and helps you set realistic expectations regarding the speed of your mortgage application and approval.

What is the quickest time to get a mortgage offer?

The typical time frame for receiving a mortgage offer is around 10 days to 3 weeks. However, it is indeed possible to get a mortgage offer on the same day as the application, although this is less common.

Certain lenders offer expedited processes that involve instant desktop valuations and quick income verification, allowing them to provide an offer within 24 hours. It’s important to note that this swift turnaround time occurs in approximately 5% to 10% of cases, but it is indeed possible. Halifax is known for frequently issuing offers within a week, especially when they conduct a rapid valuation.

Work with a mortgage broker

It is indeed best practice to work closely with a mortgage broker and have a clear understanding of the rates and terms you intend to apply for when you find a property.

By having an Agreement in Principle (AIP) in place and knowing the type of mortgage you want, you can quickly proceed with your application when you find the right property.

This proactive approach can save you valuable time, potentially reducing delays by days or even weeks before you can officially apply for the mortgage. By being well-prepared and having a clear plan, you can streamline the application process and expedite the overall home buying journey.

For more info on quick mortgage approvals, please contact a member of the Strive team, by emailing [email protected] or call us on 01273 002697.