Knock has come knocking in the Seattle-area real estate market.
The company, which helps homebuyers compete with cash to sweeten offers in competitive markets, announced Tuesday that it is expanding to Seattle and other Western Washington locations.
Homeowners will have access to such products as “Knock Home Swap,” which provides 100% of the money necessary to buy a new home before listing a current house, and “Knock GO,” or guaranteed offer, which helps first-time buyers make an offer that’s competitive with cash.
Qualifying buyers can use Home Swap and GO for loans of up to $3 million. Knock also announced the addition of jumbo loans to its product portfolio, expanding the limit of qualifying Home Swap listings to $2 million in Seattle.
“Our innovative home loan solutions make all buyers competitive with cash buyers and eliminate the common pain points such as timing a sale with a purchase and living through repairs and showings that make it harder than it needs to buy and sell a home,” Knock co-founder and CEO Sean Black said in a news release.
New York and San Francisco-based Knock was launched in 2015 by the founders of Trulia, the online real estate company acquired by Zillow that same year for $2.5 billion.
The company announced $220 million in new funding in March and also reduced its workforce by 46%. The move came a year after Knock pursued going public via SPAC at a $2 billion valuation, but ran into the realities of COVID-19 and investor fears. Black wrote about it all in a March blog post, and made mention of the demise of the home buying business Zillow Offers and how Knock differs.
“On one hand, this proved Knock pioneered the superior alternative model,” Black said. “Knock does not buy houses from consumers at a discount like iBuyers, but rather we lend consumers 100% of the money they need to buy their new house and help them manage the entire process of buying and selling with their agent in our mobile apps. But investors needed a timeout to understand how the Zillow Offers news would ripple through the entire sector. Meanwhile, we continued to grow Knock across every metric that mattered to the business.”
Knock now operates in 75 markets in 15 states across the U.S. In Washington, it will be active in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Bellingham, Mount Vernon-Anacortes, Bremerton-Silverdale-Port Orchard and Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater areas.
Not to be confused with the Seattle startup that builds apartment property management software, Knock does compete with Flyhomes, another Seattle startup that helps clients purchase houses directly with cash and raised a $150 million round last June.
Knock does not employ agents who buy or sell homes — users work with their own agent. Knock’s fees include a $1,700 origination fee and 1.25% convenience fee on the purchase price of the new home.
Flyhomes co-founder and CEO Tushar Garg told GeekWire that he welcomes Knock to the Seattle market.
“Our mission is to build the world’s best homebuying and selling experience, so the more the companies which offer consumers improved ways to buy and sell homes the better,” Garg said.