Homebuying startup Knock pivots to lending

Knock to offer mortgage and bridge loans, refer consumers to real estate agents

Knock CEO Sean Black (Getty)
Knock CEO Sean Black (Getty)

Knock, a home-buying startup, is switching to bridge loans and working with agents, rather than directly with consumers.

The company, which offers a platform for consumers who want to buy and sell homes at the same time, will now offer mortgage, bridge-loan and concierge services, Inman reported. The program, Knock Home Swap, will include a mortgage without contingencies, which Knock’s CEO Sean Black said would have competitive rates.

Knock, which raised $400 million in a funding round last year, will also stop marketing homes directly to consumers. Instead it will refer prospective homebuyers to an agent network, but does not anticipate charging agents a referral fee.

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For the down payment, the startup will offer an interest-free bridge loan. The company will charge a 1.25 percent fee on the home. Knock also has an integrated title company and a network of contractors to streamline the process of preparing a home for sale.

Knock was initially modeled as an ibuyer, acquiring homes for cash and selling them to consumers. Now, the company will still buy homes if they do not sell within six months, but Black said nearly all homes listed with Knock sell within 90 days. [Inman] — Georgia Kromrei