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Editor’s Note: The Disruptor Roundup analyzes companies implementing unconventional models.

It’s safe to say that in today’s competitive real estate market, any added contingencies signal risk. This is putting a lot of pressure on would-be sellers to stay in their homes longer for fear they won’t win a bid on a new home if their offer is contingent on selling their existing property.

A non-traditional lender touting itself as a home-swap service, Knock, which launched in 2015 by the founding members of Trulia.com, is now reaping the rewards of this multiple-offer, cash-always-wins real estate environment. The company recently announced an expansion into Florida, making the service available in a total of 10 home markets—with plans to branch out to 100 by 2023.

“Buying a home when you have one to sell is never easy. In the current housing market where there are a limited number of homes for sale and the competition is high, many people are choosing to stay put rather than realize their dream of a new home,” said Knock Co-Founder and CEO Sean Black in a statement. “At Knock, we are leveraging technology to flip the process, allowing homeowners to make a non-contingent offer on the home they want before they even list their current house. It’s given thousands of homeowners the confidence they need to make the move that’s right for them, and we’re excited to make the Home Swap available throughout the state of Florida.”

How it works:

The company offers two services: Home Swap and Knock Nest. Through these, sellers can either sell their home to Knock and pay rent until they’re ready to move or purchase their next home and sell to Knock afterward, paying only one mortgage at a time.

The Knock Home Swap loan covers the down payment on the new home, home prep and up to six months of mortgage payments on the old house.

The fine print:

While these services provide an alternative for sellers who may be in a pinch if they need to sell in order to buy, there are a few things consumers will need to consider:

– Knock’s bridge loan puts a lien on the property until the funds are fully paid off.
– Knock will pay for approved costs, but if anything else comes up, that’s on the seller.
– Rates may not be as competitive as local lenders. If looking for the best price, consumers should shop around.

As part of its expansion, Knock has partnered with Keller Williams Realty Fort Myers & The Islands; Keller Williams Realty Naples; Keller Williams Realty Suncoast; Keller Williams Realty Island Life Real Estate; RE/MAX Alliance Group; Better Homes and Gardens Synergy; Keller Williams Realty Port St. Lucie; Keller Williams Realty Vero Beach and Keller Williams Realty Treasure Coast.

According to the company, Knock Home Swap is now available through 215 real estate brokerage firms.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s senior online editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to
lizd@rismedia.com.

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