I’m looking for a mortgage, what happens next?

We’re here to take the pressure off you as well as making this process as easy and as smooth as possible. It can be hard work when you’re starting to look for a mortgage and we want you to know that we now work as hard on your application as you have so far. To help alleviate any worries and to clearly set out what to expect when receiving mortgage advice and buying or remortgaging a house, here’s a brief guide.

About Your Mortgage Application

What’s the first thing that happens when I’ve completed my mortgage enquiry?

Our mortgage team will give you a call to talk through what you’re looking for and what your priorities may be. We’ll have a chat around your finances; income, expenditure and if there’s any credit issues. We can then give you an idea of a rough borrowing amount and use our knowledge of the market to answer any important questions you may have. At that point, we may have some lenders in mind or may want to do a little more digging to ensure we get the right mortgage for you. We will then let you know what documents you need to send over to us, for us to conduct our research.

Likely supporting documents include proof of ID, payslips or up to three months’ bank statements, depending on the type of mortgage you have chosen. If you’re self-employed, we may ask for between one and three years’ worth of accounts. We have a Document Checklist that covers everything you need to know.

Once we’ve looked at the best rates out there, that fit your circumstances, we’ll have a discussion around the finer details, for example, what your preferences for the mortgage are, do you like fixed or variable products and are you happy to pay lender’s fees if it means you get a better rate. Don’t worry if you’re not sure though, our advisers are here to get you the right mortgage advice and answer any queries you have along the way.

Looking at your finances is also a big part of being able to give you the right mortgage advice; so we’ll review bank statements and your proof of income. We want to find the best mortgage that suits you and a big part of that is the need to make sure you don’t overstretch yourself financially and end up in difficulty due to your new mortgage.

There are a number of things to consider when making sure you’ll be able to afford the mortgage. We’ll take into account how much deposit you’re putting down, your incomes, household bills and outgoings, savings and any other financial commitments you may have.

To help us understand your financial position clearly and to move your application forward, we will ask you for additional supporting documents and these should be submitted to us if and when required, in order to make the process as quick as possible.

Do I need to get a valuation on the property to get a mortgage offer?

Whether you’re buying or remortgaging, the lender will require an independent valuation of the property to ensure the mortgage is priced correctly and that the property is suitable for a mortgage. You may need to pay for this valuation at the application stage, depending on the product we go for, but the lender will instruct the valuer.

There’s a few different types of valuation processes you can choose from, and our team will be happy to give you more information if you need it.

About Your Mortgage Application 3 'Valuation'

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What types of property valuation can I choose from in order to secure a mortgage offer?

A Standard Valuation is the minimum check and report that’s required to progress the mortgage for house purchases: in fact, it’s required by law. This is the lender reviewing the property to ensure it makes for good security. A surveyor will inspect the property, highlighting obvious major defects that could affect the value, then compare the property to similar ones, taking age, condition and location into account. This information is used to write a valuation report, called a Standard Valuation.

If you’d prefer to have of a more detailed survey, or if your mortgage lender requests a more detailed survey, there are two main options open to you:

  1. The Homebuyer’s Report is a more detailed report, with advice on defects affecting the property value, and details of any likely future maintenance or repair costs.
  2. A full Buildings Survey (previously known as a Structural Survey) is used only for older, larger or non-traditional properties. It provides a thorough inspection and detailed breakdown of the property condition including any structural defects, necessary repairs and maintenance advice.

Each lender and mortgage product differs around valuations and the costs for them. You’ll find some products come with a free Standard Valuation, but you would need to pay the difference if you wanted a Homebuyers Report

Do I need to get a valuation if I’m remortgaging?

Yes, but as you’re remortgaging, there are a number of valuation options available. Our advisers will discuss these with you as you’re completing your remortgage application paperwork to ensure you know all your options.

What happens if the property valuation doesn’t agree with the sale price?

Sometimes the surveyor may recommend that the sale price is higher than the actual property value, and downgrades the valuation. This can be common and there may be many different factors – including over pricing due to a drop in market conditions, or structural issues with the property.

We don’t want you to buy a property that’s been over priced, so we’ll contact you to discuss the different options open to you. These may include asking the seller to reduce their price based on the information provided in the Valuation Survey.

How and when do I get my formal mortgage offer?

Once your valuation is complete and the underwriters at the mortgage lender have assessed all other documents – like proof of ID and income – they will make a decision on a mortgage offer. This will be communicated to your adviser who will be in touch to let you know the outcome and then, if accepted, yourself and your solicitor will receive a copy of this offer. You’ll have at least 7 days in which to review the content to ensure you’re happy with it.

Can I change my mortgage details before completion?

The lender makes their offer based on the details you provided in your original application, such as property purchase price, loan amount and your specific mortgage product. If you want to make any changes to these, now is your final opportunity to discuss them with your mortgage adviser before completion.

About Your Mortgage Application 2 'Offer'

How does my property completion happen?

Once your solicitor has made all of their checks, they will agree the dates for exchanging contracts and completing the purchase with the seller’s solicitor. This usually happens on or close to the date you originally specified for completion of contracts, subject to any delays in the process of course.

On exchange of contracts, you need to pay your deposit to your solicitor. Your solicitor sends the mortgage lender the Certificate of Title and in return your mortgage funds are released. They then pass those funds to the seller’s solicitor. Once the seller has received the money, the house purchase is complete, and you get the keys to your new home!

Can I move in before completion?

No, until the Solicitor’s involved have exchanged all the paperwork the property is not yet yours. You can plan to move in on the day of completion, but must time it to happen after all the paperwork has been finalised – usually signified by you being able to collect the keys to the property.

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