What’s the Equity Release Timeframe?
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- The entire equity release process typically takes around three months, encompassing various stages from inquiry to fund disbursement.
- The process includes initial inquiry, gathering documentation, application submission, property valuation, legal processing, and receiving funds.
- Delays can occur due to missing documentation, complex circumstances, and slow responses from lenders or advisors.
- Expedite the process by having all documents ready, responding promptly, and using an efficient advisor.
- Understanding the timeline and setting realistic goals can help manage expectations for the equity release process.
‘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 £699 million 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.
But, like all good things, it requires time.
In This Article, You Will Discover:
This article delves into the timelines, equity release application process, 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.
What Is 'Releasing Equity'?
For those aged 55+, opting to release equity from their home is a pathway to access the locked wealth in their properties.
It's 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.
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 around 3 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 about 10 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.
Keep in mind
Though equity release has the potential to provide financial flexibility, it's 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 equity release 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's also essential to understand that delays can occur, impacting this timeframe.
Here’s a brief look at how long each stage of the process 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 two weeks to arrange and complete.
- Legal process and documentation, like 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.
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.
Here’s 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 Process?
You can expedite the equity release process in a number of ways.
Here are some steps you can take to make sure 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.
It's 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 a week,5 but it could take longer if your solicitor will need to repay your old mortgage before transferring the remaining funds to you.
Keep in mind
Before deciding on equity release, you should also consider other options like downsizing, remortgaging, or borrowing from family.
Every financial decision has its pros and cons, and it's important to choose the one that best suits your individual needs.
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?
While the timeframes for equity release can vary, the average duration should generally be under 3 months.
This duration hinges 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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