Real estate startup Knock launches home trade-in program, plans 10-state expansion

Imagine selling your old house and buying a new one is just as easy as trading in your old car for a new one – that’s the world that Knock, a real estate startup, is trying to create.

Knock, which operates currently in Atlanta, is launching a “home trade-in platform,” which the company claims will “revolutionize” the real estate process.

“The Knock home trade-in is truly transformative for consumers,” Knock CEO Sean Black said. “Our goal is to facilitate a seamless home swap by purchasing consumers’ new homes outright with our cash and moving them in before putting their old houses on the market.”

Through its home trade-in program, Knock will buy a homeowner’s house and move them into a new house of their choosing before putting the homeowner’s old house on the market.

According to the company, structuring the transaction that way has significant advantages for the homeowner.

“Knock.com charges the same 3% commission as a traditional broker, but the trade-in saves consumers months of inconvenient repairs, showings and uncertainty, without forcing them to give up any more of their hard-earned equity,” the company said in a release. “Knock.com’s all cash offer also ensures its customers get the best price on their new house, and eliminates the risk of losing it to another buyer while they wait for their old home to sell.”

The company said that it has helped more than 2,000 consumers in its first full year of business in the Atlanta market, and now plans to expand to 10 new states.

According to Knock, it recently secured licenses in 10 new states and plans to launch in at least 10 cities within those states by the end of 2019, including Charlotte, Raleigh, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Denver.

The company also said that it raised $33 million in its Series A funding round, and is backed by RRE, Redpoint, Greycroft, Corazon Capital, Correlation Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, and FJ Labs.

Knock is hardly the only company that buys homes directly from homeowners.

Opendoor and OfferPad also buy homes directly.

Opendoor is further down the road financially though, having raised $210 million in its Series D round of funding towards the end of 2016. That funding round placed a $1 billion valuation on the company.

Opendoor began operating in Phoenix and Dallas-Fort Worth, and now operates in Las Vegas, Atlanta, Raleigh, North Carolina, and launched in Orlando this week..

OfferPad currently operates in Atlanta, Phoenix, Tampa, Orlando, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, and Charlotte, and is also taking part in Zillow’s “Instant Offers” program, which connects willing sellers with investors that will buy their houses directly from them.

Redfin also recently got into the home buying business, launching Redfin Now last year.

But none of those companies offer the same type of direct “trade-in” program like Knock does, and the company claims that’s what sets it apart.

[Update: This article is updated with additional markets where Opendoor is operating.]

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