What to do if a mortgage offer expires before completion

A mortgage offer comes with an expiry date, which means you should complete the purchase of your property before this date passes.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always go to plan. In some cases, often when buying a new-build property, your mortgage offer might expire before you’ve finalised the purchase.

Can you get an extension on a mortgage offer?

Most lenders will let you extend your mortgage offer if you need to. Banks and building societies understand that buying a property is a complicated process and that things can sometimes overrun or take longer than anticipated.

So if you’re close to completing the purchase but things are held back, you should speak to your mortgage lender as soon as you can. You’ll usually have to give them advance notice, which may be a matter of weeks before your offer is set to expire.

How long you’ll be able to extend the offer depends on your lender, but it could be anywhere over a month, and they may ask to see your bank statements and payslips for the past six months to make sure your situation hasn’t changed.

What if I can’t extend?

Mortgage lenders aren’t actually obliged to offer an extension and if they don’t, you’ll need to re-apply.

This means that you’ll have to pay for another valuation on the property, you may lose the solicitor’s fees and anything else you’ve spent so far trying to secure your new home.

Alongside this, you’ll have to go through the same checks you did when you first applied, which means having your income, outgoings and credit history checked again.

What about New-builds?

You’re less likely to need a mortgage-offer extension when buying a property that’s in a chain. But buying a new-build can throw up issues if construction is delayed and the move-in dates are pushed back, resulting in your offer expiring before you complete the purchase.

Setbacks are especially common with new-build properties, so many lenders will understand and may allow you to extend your mortgage offer, especially if you have given them prior notice.

As most lenders require a few weeks’ notice in order to extend a mortgage deadline, speaking to your lender or broker as soon as you think there might be a delay is likely to help your case and improve your chances of getting your mortgage offer extended.

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