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How Long Does It Take To Release Mortgage Funds?

Applied for a mortgage and are wondering how soon you can get access to the funds. You will find the answer to that question here in this guide.
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According to Statista, more than 362,000 people in the UK purchased their first home in 2022.

But it’s a long process, which involves house hunting, applying for a mortgage, getting approval from the lender, and finally the release of funds and transferring of property deeds. 

And the most common query first-time buyers have is “how long does it take to release mortgage funds?

The answer to this question varies from lender to lender but it shouldn’t take more than a few days in most instances. 

Keep reading to know more about the entire process and if there’s anything you can do to speed it up.

The Process Of Releasing Mortgage Funds

The release of funds is the last step when a house is purchased and takes place usually during the exchange of contracts. It is this phase wherein the solicitors of the house buyer and the seller start the process of transferring the property deed and ownership of title to the new buyer. 

In exchange, the monetary value of the house is paid to the seller at this time. 

The mortgage funds are transferred by the mortgage provider to the buyer’s solicitor. When the funds are cleared, the solicitor transfers them to the vendor’s solicitor. 

When Are The Funds Required? 

When the seller accepts your offer of a property purchase, the early processes of transferring the property can be legally started by the solicitors for both parties, for example searches may begin.

If a mortgage is required a mortgage application will usually be submitted simultaneously to this, it is often recommended not to pay the searches fee to your solicitor without a mortgage approval as this may not be refundable if the mortgage is rejected. 

Typically after this, an exchange of legally binding contracts will occur between that contain all the details of the property purchase/sale.

These details generally include the price of the property and other terms and conditions proposed by the involved parties. 

The funds should be present with the solicitor before the contract is completed, so the loan provider has to transfer the amount before that time.

Since such a transfer requires moving a significant sum of money between different accounts, it is usually conducted through a specific method between the solicitor and the lender.  

When the contract is completed or slightly before, the solicitor generates a completion statement detailing any amount owed, including their fees and any stamp duty due.  

Then, they prepare a transfer deed that legalises the transfer of the ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer. 

So, if you’re wondering when does the solicitor request mortgage funds, it is done before the contract is completed, so they are available when needed. 

After withdrawing the funds from the mortgage provider, the buyer’s solicitor will transfer them to the seller’s solicitor and get the title deeds from them. So, it is vital that the funds are cleared and available to ensure everything goes smoothly. 

How Long Does It Take To Release Mortgage Funds?

How Long Does It Take To Release Mortgage Funds

The lender can take between three and seven days to release the mortgage funds. This is the time required for the funds to be approved, released, and transferred to the solicitor’s account. 

However, a solicitor may request the lender to release the funds a bit early before the completion date so they can be cleared easily and there are no hiccups. That said, in most cases, this process cannot be rushed. 

Though you can try some things to speed up the process.For instance, ensure the paperwork is complete and no outstanding payments, such as taxes or conveyance payments, are due. Additionally, communicate with your conveyancer at every step of the way. 

Why Do Lenders Take Time To Release Funds?

There are several reasons why lenders usually take some time to release the funds when you purchase a house, which include the following:

1. Anti-Money Laundering Checks

Lenders undertake several types of checks to ensure that the property purchase does not go against the anti-money laundering (AML) legislation. Often, this legislation will be satisfied  before a request for funds is made. In addition, all financial institutions have to comply with the regulations of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

AML laws were introduced in 2017 to prevent money laundering by criminals and required money lenders to verify borrower information, like proof of identity, income, and address.  

Such checks are completed within varying timescales.  

2. Standard Financial Assessment

Besides AML checks, lenders carry out their standard financial assessment, which includes checking the credit history, loans and other liabilities, tax returns, etc, to ensure there is no bad credit. This can take a few days or a few weeks, depending on the lender.

IMPORTANTLY, this is done when the mortgage application is completed so is separate to this, however when funds are released it has been known for example a lender to potentially credit check on completion or if an offer has expired or is nearing expiry request up to date documents, so it is important your circumstances haven’t changed from when the mortgage application was submitted. 

3. Mortgage Lender Policy And Processing Time 

There may be a processing time for the mortgage lender to release the funds. . 

4. Paperwork 

If there are any issues with the paperwork during the process, it will take longer to complete. That’s why it is important to ensure that all documents are in proper order as soon as possible before funds are released. . 

How Long Can Solicitors Hold Mortgage Funds? 

The duration for which a solicitor can hold the mortgage funds will depend on the lender. In many cases, lenders allow the solicitor to hold the funds until the property purchase is complete. However, some providers may require the solicitor to return the funds if completion is not within a set timescale.

Furthermore, the portion of funds that remain unused have to be returned to the lender. The solicitor is responsible for informing the buyer about the expected time when they will receive the mortgage funds so the date for finalising the contract can be fixed.  

Time Taken By Various Banks To Transfer The Mortgage Funds

In general, lenders take between five and seven days to process the documents and transfer the mortgage funds to the solicitor.

But this period can vary from one provider to the next depending on factors like the complexity of the scenario and any associated issues. 

The following table shows the average time taken by different banks to release mortgage funds. The below is illustrative and not to be relied on as fact. 

BankTime Taken To Release Funds
Halifax8-10 working days
NatWest4-7 working days
Santander3-5 working days
Lloyds Bank5-7 working days
Royal Bank Of Scotland4-6 working days
Nationwide 5-7 working days
HSBC10-14 working days

Mortgage Funds Release Before Solicitors Exchange Contracts

Mortgage funds are usually released during the exchange of contracts between the two parties involved in the property purchase. So, it is highly unlikely for a lender to allow the funds to be released before that. 

That said, in some special situations, the funds may need to be released earlier. If that is the case, the buyer and their solicitor will have to discuss the exact circumstances with the lender beforehand. 

In case the lender finds the reason for the early fund release justified, they may accept your request, though it is not very common.


1. What are some factors that can affect the timeline in which mortgage funds are released?

The main factors affecting the mortgage fund release timeline include the following:

  • Time taken to provide the required paperwork from the solicitor 
  • Existence of legal issues
  • Individual lending practices

2. What events take place upon the completion of the contract?

If you’re wondering what happens when mortgage funds are released, the first thing that happens typically or around this time is contracts are exchanged between the solicitors of the two parties, and mortgage funds are transferred to the seller’s solicitor, and the property deed is transferred to the buyer (completion). .

3. How can you speed up the mortgage funds release process?

First, make sure all required documents are in order. Also, regularly check on the progress of the application with your solicitor. 

4. Which bank transfer is used for transferring mortgage funds?

The bank transfer used for transferring mortgage funds from the buyer’s solicitor to the seller’s is called CHAPS or Clearing House Automated Payment System. There is usually a CHAPS fee payable to the mortgage lender for there costs involved with this. 

5. What happens if the mortgage funds are not released on the completion date?

Generally, mortgage funds are released a day before completion, but if that doesn’t happen, it can prevent the transaction from proceeding. It is important to constantly remain in contact with your solicitor to understand the cause of the delay so it can be sorted out as soon as possible. 

Final Thoughts

There are several factors that can affect the release of funds from the lender in the case of first-time buyer mortgages or any other purchase or re mortgage for that matter. 

Generally, the period varies from lender to lender and depends on their individual processes and the checks they undertake. 

In most cases, it is not possible to speed up the process, but we’ve mentioned the steps you can take to make the process a bit easier for you and manage it. 

The most important thing is to remain in touch with the your solicitor throughout the process so any issues and delays can be dealt with quickly. 

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

All content is written by qualified mortgage advisors to provide current, reliable and accurate mortgage information. The information on this website is not specific for each individual reader and therefore does not constitute financial advice.

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Applied for a mortgage and are wondering how soon you can get access to the funds. You will find the answer to that question here in this guide.
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