Bridging and Commercial feature on completion timescales

1. The latest B&C poll found that 79% of brokers believe that bridging lenders need to be clearer on loan completion timescales in order to manage expectations with their clients. Why do you think this is such a common problem?

It is a common problem, but I am surprised the figure is as high as 79% of brokers who think there needs to be more clarity. Really, it is down to everyone who has a role to play in a bridging deal to be realistic about timescales and appreciate the dependencies in the process that might cause a delay. Ultimately refer to the client’s wish and what is in their best interest as that is who we are all working for.

We always try to take a proactive approach when it comes to timelines, because the problem can arise when each party has a different timeline they are working towards. We understand that brokers want to get the deal completed as soon as possible, but it may be different for the client and added to that solicitors and valuers to whom we are reliant on to get their part of the deal done. Just working to a deadline of ‘ASAP’ can sometimes distort the actual deadline. So, we will try to take a lead on putting down a timeline that suits all involved, bearing in mind all the different moving parts in play.

2. How do you go about communicating your timescales with brokers, and what could cause changes to these timescales that brokers should be aware of?

One of the reasons people come to a specialist bridging lender like West One is because the process is much quicker than an average high street bank. But we are reliant on solicitors being able to carry out their conveyancing, who in turn are reliant on others. That is why we always try to be proactive about communicating any changes to ensure the client is kept up to date and we are meeting their expectations.

As part of our process, we establish what the intended completion date is as a priority. We talk to the broker to make sure they’re aware of our timescales and what needs to happen, so that they can communicate that directly to the client. This is where strong broker relationships are key because if we work with them on a regular basis, they will know already what our processes are and our typical turnaround times, every deal is assessed on its own merits.

We can start the underwriting within a few hours of receiving the application pack from the broker, however the pack needs to be complete and correct. Errors such as the wrong details for the client’s solicitors or missing supporting documents, will cause a hold up. So once again it’s vital that all parties provide exactly what’s required in order for the process to prevent delay.


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