Knock has started operations in Baltimore, according to the company’s latest press release. The tech-enabled, home loan solutions platform will offer its full gamut of products to the region’s consumers, which includes Home Swap for sellers and the recently unveiled Knock GO for buyers.
Baltimore puts Knock at 70 markets nationwide, up from 14 at the start of 2021, according to the company. Prior to Baltimore, Knock made the announcement that it had started business in Detroit.
Knock GO, or Guaranteed Offer, helps buyers shop for homes with the security of knowing they will have the advantage of removing financing and all sales contingencies, which improves a homebuyer’s ability to compete in tight markets. Buyers are offered a competitively priced mortgage that is guaranteed to fund even if the loan is not 100 percent clear to close by contract date.
The service also provides fully qualified buyers “appraisal gap protection, agreeing to fund the purchase via buyer credit (for up to 100 percent of closing costs) should an appraiser disagree with the contract price,” according to Inman.
Knock GO requires closing date to be set no less than 30 days from contract date.
Home Swap, Knock’s flagship product, allows homeowners to shop for and purchase a new home before selling their current property. It includes a market-rate mortgage and interest free bridge loan to cover up to six months of mortgage payments on the previous home. Home Swap also includes Home Prep Concierge and a backup offer should the old house not sell on the open market.
While any agent in a new market can become certified to sell Knock’s services, the company typically partners with a local brokerage to get services off the ground. HomeSmart has been selected in Baltimore.
Carol Perry, chief business development officer of HomeSmart, said they’re looking forward to the advantages Knock’s products offers their agents.
“The Knock Home Swap and Knock GO give our agents and their clients the competitive edge when it comes to buying and selling homes,” Perry said. “The ability for homeowners to purchase and move into a new place to call home, before preparing and listing their existing house for sale, has been a game changer for all parties involved.”
Knock is considering a public offering round with goals of between $400 and $500 million at a $2 billion valuation. It’s considering merging with a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) or executing a direct listing, according to an Inman report in March, 2021.
Knock co-founder and CEO, Sean Black, was instrumental in Trulia’s IPO.
“Buying and selling a home is an incredibly painful process, especially in today’s low inventory, multiple-bid housing market,” Black said in the latest press release. “Our mission at Knock is to bring certainty, convenience and cost savings to the real estate transaction, empowering everyone to realize their homeownership dreams in a stress-free way.”
The company states that its Home Swap and Knock GO are available through 285 real estate brokerage firms with over 111,000 agents in approximately 5,500 ZIP codes nationwide.