What Is the Equity Release Timeframe?

Typically, the equity release process can take six to eight weeks from consultation to receiving funds. Each step meticulously handled ensures clarity and precision.
  • Last Updated: 14 May 2024
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  • Our team recently fact checked this article for accuracy. However, things do change, so please do your own research.

Contributors:

Francis Hui
Wondering About the Time It Takes to Obtain Equity Release? Unsure About the Process and How to Speed Things Up? Read Our Guide to Find Out Everything You Need to Know About How Long Equity Release Takes.
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Key Takeaways…

  • Equity release in the UK usually takes four to eight weeks, depending on the complexity of your circumstances, although fast-tracking can happen with straightforward titles, sharp legal representation, and complete, accurate applications.
  • Delays may result from inaccurate property valuations, incomplete applications, legal issues, or slow replies to lender queries.
  • Keep things moving by considering the time of year, as holiday periods can slow down the process, and stay in constant communication with your adviser and solicitor to catch and address any potential delays early.

How long does equity release take?’ is a question frequently asked by homeowners exploring this financial option. 

Did you know that in the first quarter of 2023, a total of £699mln in property wealth was unlocked by UK homeowners?1

In the UK, equity release provides a way to unlock the value tied up in your property without having to move. 

However, like all good things, it requires time. 

In This Article, You Will Discover:

    This article delves into the timelines, equity release application setup, and factors affecting the duration of equity release, including the different timeframes for lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans.

    The Every Investor editorial team has researched this topic thoroughly for your benefit, and this guide aims to provide clarity and understanding about the equity release process

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    Timeline for Equity Release Process

    What Is ‘Releasing Equity’?

    For those aged 55+, opting to release equity from their home is a pathway to access the wealth locked in their properties.

    It is a strategic option for boosting retirement funds or meeting significant life expenses.

    Under this scheme, homeowners can choose to receive a lump sum or staggered payments, with the debt settled from the property’s sale, typically after their passing.

    What Is the Typical Timeframe for Completing Equity Release in the UK?

    The typical timeframe for completing equity release in the UK varies, but on average, it takes between six to eight weeks.

    This time is needed to perform tasks such as valuation of the property, legal paperwork, and necessary checks.

    Keep in mind that this duration could extend if complexities arise during the application process.

    Factors such as the responsiveness of your solicitor and the efficiency of the equity release provider can dramatically affect the timeline.

    Therefore, it is crucial to work with experienced professionals to facilitate a smooth application.

    Remember, patience and diligence are key during this time, as this ensures that all the necessary legal, financial and property checks are meticulously conducted.

    Timeframes for Different Types of Equity Release

    The timeframes for different types of equity release, namely lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans, vary slightly. 

    Generally, a lifetime mortgage, which is the most common type, can take circa three months from the start of the process to receiving your funds.2 

    On the other hand, home reversion plans, which involve selling a portion or all of your property, can take approximately ten weeks to set up, according to one of the UK’s main providers.3

    Always seek professional advice before proceeding, as your individual circumstances may influence how long your application takes to process.

    Consider…

    Though equity release has the potential to provide financial flexibility, it is critical to keep in mind that it may influence your eligibility for state benefits and can reduce the value of your estate, potentially leaving less for your beneficiaries.

    How Long Does the Entire Equity Release Process Take?

    The entire process can take up to three months.4 

    This will depend, however, on the type of equity release scheme and the efficiency of the provider. 

    It is also essential to understand that delays can occur, impacting this timeframe.

    A brief look at how long each stage could take…

    • Initial inquiry and research stage, which involves finding out about the options available, how much you can borrow, and the potential impacts on your financial situation and estate: One to two weeks.
    • Gathering documentation and information, which involves obtaining property details, evidence of identity, and details of any existing mortgages: One to two weeks, depending on how readily available your documents are.
    • Choosing a provider, submitting your application, and undergoing the initial assessment: Typically two to three weeks, depending on the efficiency of the provider and the complexity of your situation.
    • Valuation and property survey: The equity release conveyancing process usually takes two weeks to arrange and complete.
    • Legal process and documentation, such as checking property titles and assessing the terms and conditions of the equity release and any existing mortgage: Usually two to four weeks.
    • Final approval and completion, and receiving your funds: Usually one to two weeks.

    Remember…

    Equity release may lead to a reduction in your estate’s value and may affect your eligibility for means-tested state benefits. 

    We recommend that you consider these implications carefully before proceeding.

    What Factors Can Delay an Equity Release Application?

    Factors that can delay an equity release application include missing documents and company response times.

    A list of things that could have an impact on how long your application takes…

    • Complex circumstances
    • Missing necessary documentation, such as your property deeds.
    • Lenders taking longer than anticipated to review your application.
    • Your advisor taking longer than expected to provide advice and complete the necessary paperwork.
    • A discrepancy between your property’s expected and assessed values.
    • Any issues with your property title or other legal problems?

    How Can You Expedite the Equity Release Application?

    You can expedite this in a number of ways.

    Some steps to take to ensure your application advances as quickly as possible…

    • Be ready with the right paperwork: If you have all the papers you need, the process may go faster.
    • Choose an experienced and efficient advisor: A good advisor can provide quick and accurate advice, which can expedite the process. To find a qualified advisor, consult the Equity Release Council’s directory
    • Promptly respond to requests and queries: Quick responses to any requests from your lender, advisor, or solicitor can keep things moving.
    • Understand the timeline and set realistic goals. Knowing the timeline can help you set realistic goals and make plans.

    Always remember

    It is vital to consider that equity release may change your tax position and could influence your eligibility for means-tested benefits. 

    Professional advice should be sought to understand these implications fully.

    How Long Does It Take for Equity Release Funds to Be Available?

    How long it takes for equity release funds to be available once the application and valuation process has been completed will depend on the complexity of your case. 

    Funds are typically available within one week,5 but it could take longer if your solicitor needs to repay your old mortgage before transferring the remaining funds to you. 

    Consider…

    Before deciding on equity release, you should also consider other options like downsizing, remortgaging, or borrowing from family. 

    Every financial decision has it’s pros and cons, and it is important to choose the one that best suits your individual needs.

    Common Questions

    What Is the Average Timeline for Equity Release?

    How Long Should I Expect the Equity Release Process to Take?

    Can the Equity Release Process Be Fast-Tracked?

    What Factors Could Delay My Equity Release?

    Is There a Way to Speed Up the Equity Release Process?

    How Long Does the Equity Release Process Take From Start to Finish?

    Can I Withdraw From the Equity Release Process After Starting?

    Does the Value of My Home Affect How Long Equity Release Takes?

    Can the Timeframe for Equity Release Differ Between Different Types of Properties?

    What Role Does Legal Documentation Play in the Timing of Equity Release?

    How Can I Speed Up My Equity Release Process?

    Can I Take Multiple Equity Releases and How Would That Impact the Timeframe?

    In Conclusion

    Whilst the timeframes for equity release can vary, the average duration should generally be under three months. 

    This duration depends on factors such as the type of plan, the efficiency of the provider, and the readiness of necessary legal documents. 

    Regular and effective communication with your provider, along with prompt responses, can help expedite the process. 

    Remember, the key to a smooth transaction lies in understanding the question, “How long does equity release take?” and managing expectations accordingly.

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