04 April 2024

How long equity release takes depends on what kind of equity release you’re going for and what sort of issues you run into on the way. The 2024 industry average is around eight weeks. That's from when you start your application to completing the equity release process and receiving the money. We usually take about seven weeks. Looking at the two different types of equity release:

The equity release process

So how long does it take to remortgage and release equity? Well, we’ll talk you through the equity release process and tell you. As LTMs are the most popular kind of equity release, we’ll focus on them.

To find out more about:

How to apply for equity release

Step 1 – Make an application

You can only take out an LTM through a financial adviser. They’ll help you be sure that it’s the right choice for you, then take you through the application form and submit it for you. You’ll also need to appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf.

Once your provider’s got your application, they might come back with questions or ask for some extra documentation. They won’t progress your application until they’ve got your answers.

Step 2 – Get your house valued

Your provider will arrange for an independent expert to visit and value your home. They’ll make sure that your property meets all your provider’s suitability criteria. And they’ll check the sales prices of similar local properties.

That valuation might be different from an estate agent’s one, because it won’t be a marketing figure or suggested asking price. To get a sense of what it could be, check Rightmove. They use land registry sold prices, which will give you a more accurate figure.

Step 3 – Receive your offer of loan

This goes out to you and your solicitor once your provider has your valuation and approves your application. Your offer will be valid for a set period of time – with us, it’s 90 days.

You’ll check that you’re happy with the offer and let us and your solicitor know if you are. Your solicitor will then start the conveyancing process. You’ll also need to check your building insurance – it needs to cover at least as much as your provider’s offered you.

Step 4 – Take legal advice

Your and your provider’s solicitors will work together throughout the conveyancing process. They’ll make sure that you’re the property’s registered owner(s), that all the paperwork’s signed off, and all checks and searches are carried out and completed.

Step 5 – Completing your lifetime mortgage

Once your provider has received and accepted all the paperwork, they’ll release your money to your solicitors. Your solicitors will pay off your existing mortgage or any other debts secured on your home, deduct any fees and then transfer the rest of the money to you.


Want to learn more about equity release?

We explore the pros and cons of equity release and answer frequently asked questions to help you decide whether it’s right for you.

What can slow down the equity release process?

  • Complex circumstances – for example, a deceased property owner still being on the title deeds or a divorced couple’s property being subject to a separation agreement
  • Missing or undisclosed information – for example, sometimes borrowers don’t mention credit issues they’ve had or how they plan to spend the money they release
  • Lender or adviser delays – in an ideal world, everything would go nice and smoothly, but sometimes the bureaucracy just gets tangled up and needs smoothing out
  • Borrower delays – you’re at the heart of the process, so if you’re not filling in forms, replying to questions and sharing information promptly, everything will slow down
  • Differences between a property’s expected and assessed value – as noted above, a provider’s valuation can be lower than an estate agent’s one.

How to speed up the equity release process

  • Be ready to go. Get your financial adviser and solicitor lined up in advance. Ideally, they should both have equity release experience. If you’re working to a specific deadline make sure they know about it and are confident they can help you hit it.
  • Check in with your provider. Make sure you know what they’ll need from you and are ready to share it with or organise it for them. Having all your paperwork in order and being ready to answers questions quickly will help speed up the process.
  • Make sure you understand what will happen when and are ready for any costs. Check deadlines, like how long your interest rate offer will stay valid for. And make sure you don’t have other, cheaper ways of accessing the money you need.

Can I be refused equity release?

Yes, any provider can refuse your equity release application. Common reasons for a refusal include:

  • More than a quarter of the property’s roof being flat, making leaks more likely
  • The property being near a busy pub or goods yard, which makes it hard to resell
  • The borrower wanting a larger loan than their property’s value can justify
  • Flood risk! Properties on flood plains are hard to insure, which providers don’t like
  • Too much clutter, so it’s hard for the surveyor to check the building’s structural integrity

But if one provider refuses you others might not. Different providers will have different equity release criteria, so another one might be willing to accept you as a customer. And if clutter’s the problem, you might just need a bit of a clear out!

The best way to make sure you don’t get refused is to be as open with your financial adviser as possible. Talk through the full details of your financial and personal situation with them. That will help them find a provider who’s more likely to lend to you.

What should I do next?

Now you know a little bit more about how long equity release can take, you can:

  • Use our Equity Release Calculator to see how much you could release from your home
  • Find out more by exploring the other equity release articles we’ve listed below


How long does it take to get equity out of a property?

It depends on what kind of equity release you’re going for and what sort of issues you run into on the way. The 2024 industry average is around eight weeks. We usually take about seven weeks. That's from when you start your application to completing the equity release process and receiving the money. Looking at the two different types of equity release:

How much money do you actually get from equity release?

You can find out how much money you could get by using our Equity Release Calculator. The amount will depend on your age, postcode and how much your home is worth. Any money you get will be tax-free, though it can affect any means-tested benefits you’re getting. You can receive it as a lump sum or a series of payments.

And don’t forget to factor in equity release costs. You’ll pay an arrangement fee, adviser fees and legal fees when you’re setting it up. And if you go for an LTM and choose to have your interest added to your loan, its size can grow quickly.

Is equity release ever a good idea?

That depends on your financial circumstances and goals. Our Is equity release a good idea for you? article will give you more information. We also recommend talking to a financial adviser. If you don’t already have one, you can find one at the Unbiased website.

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