Knock increases bridge loan for home prep to $35,000


The six-month loan is a component of Home Swap that allows clients to prepare a home for market through basic repairs, small finish upgrades, painting and other items buyers look for in a home.

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Real estate financing company Knock has increased the allowance it provides clients from $25,000 to $35,000, according to an announcement Wednesday.

Home Prep and Marketability Allowance is an interest-free bridge loan with a six-month term. It’s a component of the company’s Home Swap model, which allows sellers working with Knock to prepare their home for market through basic repairs, small finish upgrades, painting and other items buyers look for in a home. Knock Home Swap provides financing plans that enable homesellers to buy before they sell.

Sean Black, company co-founder and CEO, said in a statement that the additional loan amount reflects market conditions.

“The days of placing a for-sale sign in the front yard and a home selling in two or three days without any prep are over,” Black said. “Based on what we are seeing in the markets we operate across the country, when a seller prices their home realistically and makes minor updates they will find that it’s still a very good housing market. When a home is listed as is, it tends to languish [and] the more concessions a seller will have to make.”

The Home Swap put Knock on the crest of unique ways to buy a home. It provides mortgage financing at competitively priced rate and allows customers to avoid living through repairs and showings, as well as make only one mortgage payment.

Marketing itself initially as a proptech, the company surged as aspiring homebuyers found themselves capable of making mortgage payments but not cash-rich enough to buy a new home without checking the “contingent upon sale of current residence” clause in an home offer.

Knock’s early success in part led to the industry term, power buyer, describing firms providing upfront cash and home purchase plans outside of traditional home lenders.

The company grew with the goal of going public, which Black did with his former company, Trulia, but stumbled in that effort, resulting in significant layoffs a year ago, despite a massive, simultaneous $220 million cash infusion.

“A sign of the shifting market, customers leveraging the Home Swap’s Home Prep and Marketability Allowance increased 50 percent from the first half of 2022 to the third quarter as has the amount sellers are spending to make updates to their homes,“ Knock said.

In reaction to recent upward bounces in mortgage rates, Knock introduced a buy-down plan in August, 2022, which would allow homebuyers to use the equity in their existing home to buy down their mortgage rate or make a bigger down payment on their next home purchase.

Knock told Inman in August that homebuyers taking full advantage of its interest-free equity advance can save more than $125,000 in interest over the life of the loan when purchasing a median price home.

Knock helps certify agents to facilitate Home Swaps and upsell its additional financial products. It is available in more than 75 markets across the country, with more than 300 brokerages and 117,000 agents qualified to take advantage of the program.

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