How Long Does It Take To Process a Mortgage as an Expat?

Taking out a mortgage is quite a complex and time-consuming process and of course it is not surprising, it usually involves large sums of money that affect the next 15-20 years of your life at least. I am often asked by clients how long it actually takes to process a mortgage – this article will try to answer that question.

With or without an advisor? That is the question.

In the vast majority of cases, this parameter determines how long the whole process will take – of course, it should be mentioned that I am writing this article as an mortgage advisor, so my opinion might be a bit biased 🙂

Anyway, I really must say here that having an experienced mortgage advisor by your side is a factor that will not only make the whole process faster, but also considerably more comfortable for you.

Just imagine, you go to the bank to arrange your mortgage and now what? How to fill out the application? Where to send the income certificate? Is my type of residence even enough for a mortgage? How much do I need to have in my own resources?
The answers to these and many other questions are in my head, because mortgage processing is my daily business, so I can already prepare the documents in advance for the approval process to speed up the whole process and so on.

Let’s go through together the way a mortgage is processed, how long each step takes and what to look out for.

The mortgage can be divided into the following stages:

1. Mortgage application

If we are talking about the typical case I most often deal with, which is a purchase of an apartment, the list of documents required for approval is roughly as follows:

Mortgage application – a rather extensive document listing document numbers, identification of the apartment to be purchased, marital status, highest educational attainment of the clients, income, etc. 

Income certificate – employees bring this document to their HR department where they issue the certificate. For self-employed people the situation is more complicated and often a tax return is presented along with the income certificate, but it depends on how the client taxes. As an addition, each bank has its own measurements how to determine the income from tax return

Bank statements – the standard process is to supply the bank with three to six recent bank statements.

LV – or Ownership Certificate, is a document that is recorded by the Land Registry and de facto tells who owns the property. When arranging a mortgage, the bank will want the LV of the property you are buying.

Purchase Agreement – this contract must have all the formalities required by law, the banks and the Land Registry. So NEVER make your own Purchase Agreement using templates from the internet, you will almost certainly make a mistake that will cost you money. Pay a lawyer, it’s a matter of a few thousand crowns and a lot of saved hassle. We are able to arrange a lawyer for you.

Attorney’s escrow – when you buy a property, the attorney’s escrow serves as a sort of security account that holds your money and doesn’t release it to the seller until you are officially the owner of the property.
I highly recommend arranging this escrow, it avoids the situation where you send money and then the seller fails to sign over ownership of the property so you don’t have the money or the property.

Appraisal of the property – the bank handles what is called an appraisal for each mortgage, which is a process where a bank appraiser goes to inspect the property and checks to see if the property is suitable for a mortgage and is in poor condition or if there are any easements, etc.

The appraisal is also a good check for you that you are buying a property that is generally fine and there are no major issues.

The preparation of these documents depends a lot on what stage the case is at, or there may also be a long wait typically for a Certificate of Income before it is issued by the employer etc.

However, if the property is selected, we can generally complete this process in about 7 working days.

2. Approval

If all the above documents are delivered to the bank, the approval process will begin, which normally takes about 5 working days.

During this time, you can pray to your god… But no, it’s not that bad, if the file of documents is well prepared and consulted with the bank beforehand, the chances of approval are very high, mortgage rejection at the approval department has rarely happened to me with clients – 99% percent of the cases I bring to the approval office pass without any major problems.

Here it would appear that the mortgage process is over, but there is still a lot of work to be done! Because the next stage is when we actually draw the money from the bank.

3. Mortgage drawdown

At this stage, more documents need to be provided:

Signed Purchase Agreement – the purchase agreement, or attorney escrow agreement, must be signed with certified signatures at CzechPoint, or with an attorney or notary. The document is then taken to the bank.

Payment of the down payment – at this point you must send your own funds (standard 10% or 20% of the property value) and send the bank a confirmation of the paid transaction (export PDF confirmation from internet banking).

Cadastral Office – it is necessary to submit the so-called Proposal for Entry and the Pledge Agreement to the Cadastral Office.
With these documents, you give the bank permission to place a Lien on the property you are buying – without the Lien, the bank will never disburse the money to you.

When you visit the office, you will pay a CZK 2,000 administrative fee.

We normally handle the proceedings at the Land Registry on behalf of our clients as part of our consultancy to save time.

Once these documents are delivered to the bank, the bank releases the money to the Seller or to the Attorney’s Office, this stage normally takes about 2-3 working days. And now we can answer the question:

How long does it take to process a mortgage?

If we add up the total time, we get to at least 3-4 weeks, as the case never follows exactly and there are some delays. But I did complicated cases that took months before we finished, so it varies quite a bit.

When to start preparing for the mortgage?

As soon as you start having thoughts of buying your own property, it’s a good idea at this point to see a good advisor to go over what you’re actually looking at, what mortgage amount you can achieve (so you know what property you can afford) and more.

I am most happy when clients come to me 6 months before they hand over the keys to the property.

If you want to meet for an initial meeting, you can email me at or call me on +420 723 599 563.

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This article has been written by Maxmilián Rožek.

Maxmilián Rožek

Mortgage Advisor, Co-founder of CzechAdvisors
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