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How to avoid a summer slowdown on your mortgage application

26th July 2017 Print

Borrowers have been reminded by Yorkshire Building Society that they can take steps to reduce delays to house sales caused by traditional hold-ups in property valuations during the summer holiday period.

The lender typically sees valuations taking on average an extra day longer to be carried out in summer compared to spring.

But there are ways borrowers can reduce the prospect of their house purchase or sale being held up.

James Farrow, Senior Mortgage Manager at Yorkshire Building Society, said: “There’s no hard and fast rules on how long a property valuation or survey takes to complete. It varies on a number of factors, including region, the level of demand for mortgages, and the type of survey.

“However, for many people time is of the essence and it typically takes longer during the summer mainly because many people are jetting off on their holidays leaving valuers unable to access a property.

“Summer is not the only time potential delays in valuations may occur. Easter and Christmas can also cause a slowdown due to people being away from their home for extended periods of time.”

Simple steps borrowers can take to ensure their survey runs smoothly include:

Provide as many contacts details as possible, including your mobile and/or landline numbers and email address so the valuer can easily reach you. If there’s two or more of you on the mortgage ensure you have given contact details for each person to increase the chances of getting hold of you.

If you have been trying to sell your home for a while make sure your solicitor still has the most up-to-date contact details for you.

Check with your lender how long they will wait. Many lenders will instruct a property valuation as soon as possible. For instance the Yorkshire aims to do this within 24 hours of receiving a mortgage application, meaning you can expect a call from the valuer within 48 hours. Some lenders take longer, however, which causes a hold-up from the outset.

Consider making alternative arrangements if you are unable to let the valuer review your home during standard working hours. This could be as simple as leaving a key with your estate agent or a neighbour, or asking a friend or relative to let the valuer into your home.

It may be helpful to let your lender and solicitor know if you are going on holiday, so the valuer can prioritise other properties whilst you are away.

To ease the risk of bottlenecks an increasing number of lenders, including the Yorkshire, now use an Automated Valuation Model (AVM) which gives instant property assessments without the need for a valuer to visit the property. AVMs take into account a number of factors such as the value of similar properties, historical house price movements to calculate a property’s likely value at a specific point in time.

However, borrowers should be aware that each lender has different requirements for instructing an AVM, and many situations still require a physical valuation.