Knock, the American home moving facilitator launched by the founders of Trulia in 2015, has released a hotly anticipated new product named Home Swap. The new product will see financing fully integrated into the platform and will let customers move into their new home before selling their old one.
CEO of Knock, Sean Black spoke about his company’s innovative business model at length at this year’s online version of the Global Online Classifieds Summit and hinted that a new development might be on the way. Home Swap builds on the success of Knock’s Home Trade In product and gives customers financing through the platform to allow a non-contingent offer on their new home as well as an interest-free bridge loan to cover the downpayment and up to $25,000 to cover repairs on the old house so it can sell for the best price. Knock itself also provides a backup offer on the old house so that in the case that the house doesn’t sell within six months, there is a contingency.
All of this means that customers can move into their new house before any repair work or viewings are carried out on their old house, obviously a desirable scenario for home sellers in the midst of a pandemic. The new product is available in 3 cities already with plans to roll out to 8 more this year. Interestingly, the new product will not be directly marketed to consumers and will instead be implemented through partnerships with local real estate agencies who have been trained and certified through Knock and are apparently very excited to start working with the new offering.
Judson Adamson, CEO of Atlanta Communities said:
"The Knock Home Swap is cutting edge, especially in today's competitive housing market where homeowners are hesitant to sell before buying a new home. It's a big plus that they are partnering with agents and brokers to make this platform more broadly available to consumers."
With the launch of Home Swap Knock can be considered to be amongst the leaders in a huge pack of proptech companies trying to remove friction from one of the last big stressful transactions in people’s lives. The company is very much data-driven and it will be very interesting to see whether the model is truly scalable in cities whose housing stock is not as homogenous as those it has already launched in. It will also be fascinating to see if copycat outfits spring up as has been the case with previous products launched around Ibuying and the convenience economy in the housing sector.