Buyers often underestimate the amount of time it can take to get a mortgage request accepted - a pre-approval of a mortgage from a lender is not the same as an offer.
A pre-approval only agrees to the amount that you could borrow in theory. A full mortgage application can only be made when you find a property you want to buy. The lender will then arrange for a qualified surveyor to inspect the property you’re looking to buy and provide a valuation to ensure you're paying the correct value of the property taking into account factors such as similar properties, age, condition and location.
You should start the process of applying for a mortgage before you seriously start to look for somewhere to buy. The average time from mortgage application to offer can take between 18 – 40 days.
Here's how to put yourself in the best possible position when buying a property with a mortgage