What happens if my mortgage offer expires?

On behalf of Attwaters Jameson Hill posted in Residential Property on Tuesday, July 11th, 2023

On 22 June, the Bank of England increased the base rate to 5% – the highest level in 15 years – in an attempt to combat the UK’s stubbornly high inflation rate. Raising interest rates is a common method used to tackle inflation, as it decreases the spending power of mortgage holders and encourages consumers to save money rather than spend it.

As you will know, the increased base rate has had a massive knock-on impact on mortgage rates. Homeowners with fixed mortgage deals coming up for renewal are facing paying hundreds of pounds extra a month; in the year to December 2022, the monthly cost of a new mortgage on the average semi-detached house in the UK shot up by 61%.

However, the problem isn’t just impacting remortgagers – it’s also causing significant issues for those buying a home.

A race against the mortgage offer clock

The typical mortgage offer lasts between three and six months – meaning that a speedy completion has never been more important. Mortgage rates are increasing and products are being pulled from the market so quickly that buyers who do not complete their purchase in time will have to apply for a new mortgage – which is likely to be much more expensive, or even unaffordable for their chosen property.

Tips for a faster completion

  • Choose a reliable solicitor

When selecting a conveyancing solicitor, choose based on reputation and reliability – don’t purely select the solicitor offering the lowest fee. Often, solicitors offering very low fees can do so because they are taking on more cases than they can reasonably handle, meaning that that they won’t have the time to dedicate to your transaction when it really matters.

At Attwaters Jameson Hill, we’ve invested significantly in our conveyancing team over the years, ensuring we have enough experienced solicitors and conveyancing assistants to handle every case swiftly and efficiently. We may not be the cheapest solicitors on the block, but we have the time, resources and expertise to get the job done!

  • Be proactive

Don’t just wait for people to come to you – be proactive in contacting your solicitor, estate agent or mortgage broker to move things forward if necessary. Equally, make sure you’re fully contactable at all times.

You can also be proactive by ensuring you understand what is expected of you during the transaction at every stage and the paperwork you need to provide. Ask your solicitor or do some research well in advance to ensure you have all the necessary documentation to hand as soon as it’s needed.

Essentially, you can speed up your side of the process by completing any tasks you’re able to, as soon as you’re able to. Whilst the conveyancing process is uncertain and can be subject to lots of delays, you can minimise these by keeping on top of things on your end.

  • Be open to accepting a lower offer

Whilst you’ll obviously want to make as much money on your house sale as possible, it may in some circumstances be worth accepting a slightly lower offer if it means successfully completing on your new property before your current mortgage offer expires.

With interest rates rising so rapidly, you might lose money in the long run by letting your mortgage offer expire because you’re waiting to achieve your asking price. At the very least, it’s worth taking the time to weigh up the various pros and cons of each approach before making a decision.

Maximise completion speed, minimise stress

Attwaters Jameson Hill has been helping clients to successfully complete their property transactions for many decades. During this time, our economy has faced all manner of trials and tribulations; we have been there for our clients throughout, helping them to secure properties in spite of difficult market conditions.

With our wealth of experience, we’re well placed to assist you as you navigate the complexities of today’s property market. We’ll do everything we can to get your transaction over the line ahead of your mortgage offer expiring, offering advice and reassurance along the way. Simply get in touch with our conveyancers at residentialpropertydepartmentemail@attwaters.co.uk or call 0330 221 8855.

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