Eight months after launching its home trade-in platform and announcing plans to go public by 2020, the online homebuying and selling startup Knock is entering its fourth market: Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas.
“Launching in Dallas-Fort Worth is an exciting milestone for Knock,” said Sean Black, Knock’s co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “As we expand nationally, we are eager to apply the benefits of our home trade-in to different regions of the U.S., where the environment may vary but competition is still fierce.”
Established in 2015 by two founding members of home search portal Trulia and a data scientist, Knock buys new homes for all-cash on behalf of a consumer, and resells it to them when they have their financing in place. Meanwhile, the company also works to list a customer’s old home for sale on the market.
The model is similar to that pursued by other new internet-enabled, all-cash homebuying startups, collectively termed “iBuyers.” These week, the iBuyer company Opendoor announced the acquisition of a discount real estate brokerage to build out its buy-side offerings, and it is currently in 16 markets nationwide, including Dallas-Ft. Worth, where it recently capped its top offer price at $300,000. That may give Knock some room to poach potential customers, as it says on its website it buys and sells homes in the “valuation range of $150k or greater, or if the combined value of the old and new homes is at least $350,000-$400,000.”
According to Black, Knock’s launch in Texas was in part fueled by Dallas’ booming housing market — home prices are up 5.2 percent year-over-year and, due to an influx of jobs, many people are looking to move to the area. As homeowners face competing offers, buyers who are not able to pay for a new house in cash may be at an advantage.
“I joined Knock because I want to help the consumer, and I believe our Home Trade-In program solves for problems other brokerages do not,” said Adrienne Kieschnick, Knock’s new licensed local expert in Dallas who will be helping clients find homes. “Dallas is a sellers’ market, which creates a significant bottleneck issue for people buying and selling at the same time that Knock solves for.” Kieschnick was formerly Redfin’s top-performing agent in Dallas.
Knock said it wants to be in 10 markets by the end of 2019 — along with Dallas-Ft. Worth, its home trade-in model is currently available in Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh. It is also preparing to launch an initial public offering by 2020 as part of efforts to move away from private funding and into financial independence.