Home > The Mortgage Process > Exchanging Contracts

Exchanging Contracts

By: Emma Eilbeck BA (hons) - Updated: 5 Apr 2012 | comments*Discuss
Mortgage Exchange Signing Contract

Before you make a formal exchange of contracts you will need to have filled in your mortgage application form and received an offer from the lender.Don't be in a rush to exchange contracts and make sure that you are happy with everything before you legally sign up to anything. You will need to go over everything with a fine toothcomb and make sure you are happy with the payments, what they are offering and that nothing has changed from what you originally agreed.You also need to make sure that you are happy with the survey that has been carried out on the property. You may have had one done independently that valued the property differently, if this is the case you will have to rectify this.At the point of exchanging contracts the lender should have already come back to you and told you how much money they are going to offer you. Your mortgage application should also have been underwritten, which means your finances will have been judged and all your debt taken into account.

How Long will it Take

There is no set timescale as to when you will normally exchange mortgage contracts. It could be that the process is smooth-sailing and it might only take a matter of days, or weeks, however, it has been known to take months, especially if the lender is very busy. Your original choice of lender may get cold feet just before you sign, which means you may have to start again and find a new offer. All this can be very frustrating if you are waiting to move into your new home.

The Actual Exchange

Your solicitor or broker should show you a draft copy of what you will be signing before you sign it, this gives you time to reflect and read it through thoroughly. Don't just have a flick through and expect everything to be ok, you need to double check everything, as once you sign there is no going back.

If you are moving into a property where somebody already lives they will also have to have their paperwork in check and be ready to exchange on the same day, which can often be the cause of any delay in exchanging contracts.

You will need to make sure that there is a completion date on the contract, which you think is ok. From this date onwards you will be able to move into the property and it will officially be yours. There is normally a four week period between exchanging contracts and you actually being able to move into the house.You will also need to make sure you have sorted out any complaints you had about the house, for example if they had a broken cupboard which they said they would fix, make sure this is done before you sign the contract.Once you are done you will need to hand the contract back to your solicitor who will then pass it on.

Exchanging contracts is the serious part of the mortgage process and the point of no return, so remember before you sign to make sure you are happy with every detail on the contract.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word: