Knock expands home lending program into South Florida 

Company will also offer sellers $25K bridge loan to renovate old property before listing it

Ben Schachter, Sean Black and Mike Pappas (Signature, Getty, Keyes)
Ben Schachter, Sean Black and Mike Pappas (Signature, Getty, Keyes)

Startup Knock is expanding into South Florida with its home lending program.

The company is launching the Home Swap program in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and other parts of the region by partnering with Keyes Company and the Signature Real Estate Companies, CEO Sean Black said.

Home Swap allows sellers to buy their new homes before selling their old ones by pre-funding new mortgages, freeing up a liquidity problem that many sellers have. “It’s super inconvenient to buy and sell at the same time. We give you a mortgage for your new home,” Black said.

Knock also offers sellers an interest-free bridge loan for up to $25,000 to repair and renovate their old home before listing it for sale. The startup, which raised $400 million last year, will typically work with sellers in the $300,000 to $750,000 range.

If a home fails to sell in six months, Knock will provide a backup offer, according to a release. The Home Swap program launched in July, and is offered in Orlando, Tampa, Austin, Denver, San Antonio and Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Knock is hoping to capitalize on the trend of out-of-staters moving to Florida, which has increased over the last nine months, but Black said the company was planning to move pre-Covid.

“We had hypothesized that there was a trend for people moving to secondary cities before Covid. People wanted culture and good food but they couldn’t afford San Francisco and New York,” he said. “Now you see that happening in mass.”

Miami-based Keyes, led by Mike Pappas, is one of the largest independent brokerages in Florida with more than 3,000 agents. Over the summer, the company partnered with sale-leaseback startup EasyKnock. (EasyKnock and Knock, which are separate companies, sued each other earlier this year.)

The Signature Real Estate Companies, based in Boca Raton, is led by president and broker Ben Schachter. The brokerage has 12 locations in South Florida and nearly 1,400 agents.