Knock Home Swap allows home sellers to access a portion of their current home value to purchase a new home before they sell. The program offers an alternative to having to sell your home first in order to unlock the cash for a new down payment.
As part of their Home Swap service, Knock provides up to $25,000 in interest-free funding for repairs, takes care of listing and marketing your home, and provides a guaranteed backup offer in case your home doesn't sell within four months.
If you're buying in a competitive market, Knock's Guaranteed Offer program can also get you pre-approved to make a cash offer on a home, which the company claims is four times more likely to win in a bidding war.
While Knock reviews are overwhelmingly positive, a potential drawback is that you won't be able to shop around for your mortgage. Instead, you'll need to use Knock as your mortgage lender, locking you into whatever rates they offer. You'll also pay a 1.25% service fee on top of your loan costs.
What is Knock?
Knock, at a glance
💰 Knock fees
1.25% of new home’s purchase price + $1,450 for processing and underwriting
🤝 Programs and services
Knock Home Swap, Knock GO (Guaranteed Offer)
⭐ Customer rating
4.8/5 (700+ Knock reviews)
50+ metro areas across 15 states
Launched in 2015 by the founders of Trulia, Knock addresses the tricky timing issues homeowners face when selling and buying a new home at the same time.
By lending sellers a portion of their home's equity before selling, Knock allows them to purchase and move into a new home while Knock deals with preparing, listing, and selling their old one.
As a mortgage lender, Knock also provides guaranteed, cash-backed offers to help home buyers stand out in competitive markets.
In 2017, Knock raised a total of $44.5 million in combined Series A and Series D funding. At the time, Knock distinguished itself from other iBuyers by encouraging customers to sell their old homes on the open market. Unlike Opendoor and Offerpad, which make cash offers on homes, Knock planned to purchase just 10–20% of customers’ homes.
» LEARN: What's an iBuyer?
With time, Knock's emphasis on open-market sales grew. In June 2020, Knock began expanding its partnerships with established brokerages and local real estate agents. As of November 2020, Knock's network featured 40 brokerage firms with more than 27,000 agents. From 2021 to 2022, Knock rapidly expanded from 15 to 70 metros.
Today, Knock declines to provide specific data but emphasizes that most customers sell their homes on the open market. This is generally good for customers, who have the potential to receive more than their asking price in competitive markets. If a home fails to sell after six months, Knock will still provide a backup offer equivalent to 80–85% of the home's fair market value.
Looking for Knock.com reviews from customers? Find them here!
How Knock works
Knock's real estate services can help you make a more competitive offer on a new home, while avoiding the financial burden of paying two mortgages during a simultaneous home sale and purchase.
The company offers two main programs:
- Knock Home Swap (Buy before your sell)
- Knock GO (Guaranteed Offer)
Knock Home Swap
Through Knock's Home Swap program, you get access to both a traditional mortgage loan and an interest-free bridge loan of up to $200,000.
The bridge loan can be used to cover three things:
- Down payment (up to 20%) on a new home
- Six months of mortgage payments on your old home
- $25,000 toward repairs or improvements to your old home
Knock currently offers conventional, jumbo, and (in some cases) VA home loans in addition to its Home Swap bridge loan. The exact amounts are based on Knock’s evaluation of your old home's equity and how much you plan to put down on a new home.
Applying for Knock's Home Swap service is free, and you'll have no obligation to accept its loan offerings.
How to sell your home with Knock Home Swap
Step 1. See if you qualify at knock.com.
Within 48 hours of submitting your online application, Knock will let you know if you’re pre-qualified — if you are, you can move on to pre-approval.
At this stage, you’ll complete a formal mortgage application and submit official documentation so Knock can prepare a loan estimate and backup offer.
After another 48 hours, you’ll know how much you qualify for on a home loan to purchase your next home.
Step 2. Purchase and move into a new home.
If you decide to move forward with Knock, you'll begin your home search knowing that you can make a non-contingent offer on the home of your choice.
Once you close on your new home, Knock will take over the mortgage payments on your old home, so you won’t have to cover two monthly payments at once.
Step 3. Prepare, list, and sell your old home.
Once your home is vacant, you'll have 45 days to make any repairs or improvements, using up to $25,000 in interest-free funding from Knock to cover the costs. You can tap Knock’s network of contractors or find one on your own.
When your home is ready, your real estate agent will start the process of listing, marketing, and showing your old home, just as they would in a traditional sale.
You'll have six months to find a buyer — which gives you an opportunity to get the most competitive offer possible.
If your home doesn't sell on the open market, you can always accept Knock's backup offer, which is typically 80–85% of fair market value.
Step 4. Settle your bill.
You won't have to pay Knock's fees until you sell your home. When you receive the proceeds from your home sale, Knock will deduct its interest-free Home Swap loan and service fees.
Keep in mind that you'll also need to cover all of the usual expenses associated with selling a home, including realtor commission and closing costs.
What to watch out for
Knock's Home Swap program comes with a few caveats.
First, Knock will hold your home as collateral until it sells. When you use Knock Home Swap, Knock will place a lien against your property until you pay the loan back in full through the proceeds from your home sale.
Second, Knock's backup offer will only cover 80–85% of your home's fair market value. If your home doesn't sell after six months, you can choose to accept Knock's cash offer as a last resort — but you'll end up getting far less than your asking price.
Finally, Knock won’t give you the cash from your bridge loan outright — instead, it will pay approved expenses like mortgage payments and repair bills on your behalf.
Am I eligible for Knock Home Swap?
In a nutshell, Knock has to make the numbers work before agreeing to work with you. You’ll have to qualify for a conventional mortgage — and the expected proceeds from selling your old home will have to cover the loans and services Knock is providing.
As with any lender, Knock requires customers to complete two screening processes:
- Pre-qualification, which estimates the approximate size of your loan
- Pre-approval, during which Knock specifies the terms of your loan
Because Knock expects customers to sell their old homes on the open market within six months, the company also takes your old home into consideration. The criteria is flexible, but Knock typically wants to work with sellers who:
- Plan to sell and purchase their primary residence (not a vacation home or rental property)
- Plan to buy or sell a condo, townhome, or single-family home
- Live within a current service area
Knock might deem your home ineligible if you:
- Live in a 55+ community
- Have significant water damage or foundation damage
- Lack recent, similar sales data in your area
- Have unpermitted additions
Additionally, Knock doesn't currently accept distressed or bank-owned homes. In these situations, we recommend working with an experienced real estate agent who can showcase your home to the right buyers in your area.
Knock GO (Guaranteed Offer)
If you're looking to buy in a competitive market, Knock's cash-backed offer program, Knock GO, can help.
How to buy a home with Knock GO
Step 1: Get pre-approved.
Visit knock.com to get pre-approved for a home loan so you know your home shopping budget. You'll need at least 3% to put down on a conventional, jumbo, or VA loan (though you might need more in some cases).
Step 2: Shop with confidence.
Find a home that you love and make a cash-backed offer, which can help you stand out from other bidders.
Step 3: Close on your new home.
Knock has a 30-day closing guarantee, promising you’ll close on your new home in 30 days or you’ll get $5,000.
Benefits of a Knock mortgage
With Knock GO, you apply for a mortgage with Knock to make a cash-backed offer without any financing or appraisal contingenciesⓘ — removing two of the most common reasons for canceled real estate transactions.
If the closing process gets delayed, Knock will step in and purchase the home on your behalf — to a seller, your offer is as good as cash.
Knock's Guaranteed Offer also includes appraisal protection. If your appraisal comes in low, and you're forced to come up with extra cash at closing to make up the difference, Knock will cover up to 3% of the loan amount in closing costs to help you bridge the gap.
There's no extra service fee for using Knock GO. With Knock as your mortgage lender, you'll pay only a $1,450 administrative fee to cover common lending costs like loan processing and underwriting.
While Knock's flat mortgage fee is lower than the loan origination fees charged by competitors like Orchard, the rate you get may not be as good as what you'd find with an outside lender.
Should you use Knock?
✅ You may want to use Knock’s Home Swap program if…
❌ You may want to avoid Knock’s Home Swap service if…
If you don't have a lot of cash on hand for a down payment, it can be hard to afford a new home until you sell your old one. Knock closes the buy/sell gap by fronting you a portion of your current home's equity — its market value minus what you owe on the mortgage — to let you move into a new home while they cover the costs of listing and selling your old one.
Knock is a particularly useful option if you are concerned about missing out on your dream home due to a competitive market. Through their equity advance, Knock lets you remove the usual contingencies around selling your home — making your offer far more attractive to a seller.
Knock also provides up to $25,000 in interest-free funds for repairs and cosmetic updates to help you sell your home for more.
As an added benefit, Knock lets you work with your own agent to buy and sell — something competitors like Orchard and Flyhomes don't allow.
Customer reviews indicate that Knock Home Swap reduces the stress of selling and buying a home. The trade-off is that you'll have to use Knock as your mortgage lender, meaning you won't get to shop around for more competitive rates.
You'll also pay Knock a service fee on top of the commission you pay to your agent.
Knock's convenience comes at a slightly higher cost
As a lender, Knock charges a flat loan fee of $1,450 to process your loan, plus a 1.25% convenience fee to coordinate your home swap.
To compare, most lenders charge loan origination and processing fees of approximately 0.5–1%.
While Knock's Home Swap service negates the risk of having to pay two mortgages at once, you'll eventually have to pay Knock back for carrying the costs of your old home while it sells. The company's expenses will be deducted from your proceeds at closing.
You should also know that Knock's backup offer will only cover about 80–85% of its fair market value — if you're unable to find another buyer, you'll take a financial hit.
Where you CAN save is in using Knock with an agent willing to negotiate their commission.
How does Knock compare to alternatives?
Knock isn’t the only home trade-in service on the market. Since 2017, Orchard (formerly called Perch) has also offered similar services.
iBuyers like Opendoor have also begun to offer similar trade-in services to supplement their cash-offer services.
Knock vs. Orchard
⭐ Average customer rating
50+ metros across AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, MD, MI, MN, NC, OR, SC, TN, TX, WA
11 metros across CO, GA, MD, NC, OR, TX, VA
🧑💼 In-house agents?
Option to choose your own agent
💰 In-house lender?
Option to choose your own lender
🚚 Move first
🛠️ Assistance with repairs
Interest-free Home Swap loan (up to $25,000)
Deducted from proceeds
🔒 Backup offer
If using your own agent isn't important to you, Orchard could be a good alternative to Knock.
Like Knock, Orchard offers an equity advance on your current home to cover the down payment on a new one, letting you move in right away while it lists and sells your home. Orchard also provides interest-free funding to make repairs and a guaranteed backup offer if your home doesn't sell within 120 days.
While Orchard requires you to work with its team of agents and transaction coordinators, its all-inclusive 6% fee means you won't have to pay a separate agent commission.
Orchard really sets itself apart from Knock by giving you access to as much as 90% of your home's equity before you sell. On a $250,000 house, that's $225,000 in equity to put towards a down payment and related costs.
By comparison, Knock caps its bridge loan at $200,000. If you need more to cover your down payment, buyer closing costs, or repairs and mortgage on your previous home, you'll need to come up with the cash yourself.
Orchard also gives you the freedom to choose your own lender for your new home purchase, meaning you can shop around for more competitive rates.
With Knock, the sale and purchase happen in a single transaction: Knock serves as your mortgage lender on the new home and holds your old home as collateral until it sells.
Knock vs. iBuyers
By positioning itself as a lender, Knock distanced itself from iBuyers — companies that use technology and in-house real estate expertise to make cash offers on homes.
There are two key differences between Knock and iBuyers:
- Offer price on your old home
Knock customers work with real estate agents to sell their homes on the open market. This allows you to potentially receive more than your asking price — or at least a competitive offer.
By contrast, iBuyers typically offer fair market value AT MOST. You won’t have much room to negotiate.
On the flip side, iBuyers can move much faster than Knock. For example, Opendoor can provide an initial cash offer within 24–48 hours, and you can close on your home in as little as 14 days. However, it won't be as much as you could get on the open market.
To compete with trade-in services offering the convenience of an iBuyer with the added benefit of getting to sell your home for more on the open market, Opendoor recently expanded its offerings to include Opendoor Complete.
With Opendoor Complete, you can purchase your next home using Opendoor's cash, and then list your old home once you've moved.
Opendoor charges 5% for the service and gives you the option to sell your house directly to them if you haven't found a buyer after 120 days. You'll work with an agent assigned by Opendoor but have the flexibility to choose your own lender.
Knock Home Swap fees
We estimate that it'll cost you 8.75–16.25%, plus $1,450 in loan fees, to use Knock Home Swap. On a trade-in of two homes valued at $600,000, that equates to $53,950–98,950. You'll also need to reimburse Knock for any funds borrowed for repairs, up to $25,000.
Knock's fees, plus your mortgage payoff and bridge loan, will be deducted from your final proceeds.
Keep in mind that you’ll also have to pay the typical closing costs and realtor commissions.
Cost on a $600,000 home
🤝 Service fee
📋 Processing and underwriting fee
💰 Seller closing costs
1–3% on home sale
💵 Buyer closing costs
2–5% on home purchase
🧑💼 Realtor commission
🛠️ Repairs or upgrades
Varies (Knock offers an interest-free $25,000 advance)
🏡 Mortgage payment reimbursement
Varies (0.5–1% estimated per month)
8.75–16.25% + loan fees and repair costs
*Estimated payoff amount for 30–60 days of overlapping mortgage
To compare, trading the same two $600,000 homes using Orchard would cost between $54,000–84,000 (9–14%), plus deductions for any home repairs made prior to listing.
You can save thousands in listing fees using Clever to find your agent
Knock stands out from competitors by allowing you to work with any agent you like. This way, you can work with someone you trust while saving considerably on commission.
Clever's free service connects you with top local agents who guide you through the selling process for an industry-leading 1% commission. You can compare and interview multiple agents, with no obligation to use their services.
If you use one of Clever's partner agents to represent you, your all-in costs on a $600,000 home swap go down by 2% ($12,000). Plus, Clever offers eligible buyers a cash back refund of 0.5% — helping you maximize savings while taking full advantage of the benefits of Knock Home Swap.
Costs of buying and getting a mortgage with Knock GO
Knock charges a flat administrative fee of $1,450 to take advantage of its cash-backed offer program, Knock GO — making it a compelling option for buyers in competitive markets.
Once you're pre-approved for a Knock mortgage loan, Knock will guarantee the offer you make on a house with its own cash — allowing you to remove the financing and appraisal contingencies that can sometimes cause a deal to fall through.
There's no additional service fee, and your agent's commission will be paid for by the seller. The only catch is that you'll need to use Knock as your mortgage lender, meaning you won't be able to shop around for better interest rates.
Orchard offers a similar cash-backed offer program: Buy with Orchard. Like Knock, Orchard doesn't charge buyers a service fee to use the program — you'll pay only the loan origination fees charged by your lender. However, Orchard's loan origination fees can be six times higher than a traditional lender's, making Knock's flat fee of $1,450 a more cost-effective bet for getting a mortgage.
Knock Home Swap reviews
Knock has an average rating of 4.8 across 734 reviews.
While most customers praise Knock for its ease, transparency, and quality of customer service, a small minority of reviews cite delayed closings caused by poor communication and disorganization on the part of the company.
Knock isn’t currently accredited by the Better Business Bureau but has a B+ rating, with 10 complaints as of March 2022.
Positive Knock reviews
Home sellers appreciate Knock Home Swap's convenience — especially in highly competitive markets. Knock trade-in reviews emphasize the benefits of making a cash-like offer on a new home, avoiding disruptive showings, and getting extra time to prep their old homes after moving out.
Help in a competitive market
On the positive side, Knock's Home Swap allowed Theresa T. to secure her dream home in a tough market.
Less stress than a traditional home sale
Andrew N. was impressed by Knock's customer service, which greatly reduced the stress of purchasing a new home.
While Knock reviews skew positive, a few pointed customer reviews reveal that there’s room for improvement in the company's communication and customer service.
Unexplained delays right before closing
This customer feared losing out on a new home because of a closing delay caused by Knock's disorganization and lack of communication, noting last-minute requests for loan documents that had already been delivered.
This customer was told late in the process that they would need to come up with extra cash at closing, resulting in their needing to put less money down than the 20% they originally intended. A down payment of 20% would have allowed them to avoid paying for private mortgage insurance (PMI).
While Knock indicated that the customer would be able to use the money from their home sale to quickly make up for the lesser down payment — allowing them to revise their loan terms to remove the PMI after 60 days — that ended up not being the case. Instead, Knock immediately sold the loan to another creditor with steeper requirements for removing the PMI.
While selling loans in the secondary market is common practice in mortgage lending, the miscommunication on Knock's part cost the home seller hundreds of dollars in extra appraisal fees and PMI — not to mention a lot of added stress.
A real estate agent can make or break your transaction
When buying and selling, you want the right team in your corner. This is especially true in a complicated transaction like a home swap, where you're managing negotiations, closing dates, loan paperwork, requests from the title company, and more all at once.
It's important to choose someone who knows the ins and outs of the local real estate market and will stay on top of the transaction from start to finish.
At Clever, we match home buyers and sellers with top agents from some of the country's best-known brokerages, who work for a pre-negotiated commission of 1%.
Through our matching service, agents save considerably on time and marketing costs to find new clients while you save thousands of dollars on commission.
Is Knock available near you?
Knock currently offers its Home Swap in over 50 markets across the U.S. The company plans to be in over 100 markets by 2023.
Knock has a relatively large service footprint, operating in major metros across 15 states. Its closest competitor, Orchard, is available in just 7 states.
If you live within one of Knock's eligible service areas, you can apply for financing just as you would with any other lender.
States where it operates
AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, MD, MI, MN, NC, OR, SC, TN, TX, WA
CO, GA, MD, NC, OR, TX, VA
AL, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, ID, IN, MN, MO, NV, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA
» Not available near you? Find the best Knock alternatives.
FAQs about Knock
Yes, Knock is a legitimate business that offers loans to home buyers and sellers. Knock's Home Swap lets you make a competitive, cash-like offer on a new home before selling your old one. However, you'll still have to hire your own real estate agent. Compare low commission real estate companies to save thousands on your next sale.
Knock follows the same pre-approval process you'd use to secure a traditional mortgage. The key difference is that you can make a non-contingent offer on your new home BEFORE selling your old one. You can move right away, and Knock will cover your mortgage until you find a buyer. At the end, you'll settle your bill with the proceeds from your home sale. Learn more about how Knock works.
Knock earns money through its 1.25% service fee (replacing the typical loan origination fee) and by selling loans in the secondary mortgage market (a standard practice among lenders). Learn more about how Knock works.
Knock-certified agents are independent real estate agents who are familiar with Knock's service offerings and can guide their clients through the Home Swap process. They may also receive referrals through Knock. To become a Knock-certified, agents participate in a brief training and take a certification test. Learn more about how Knock works.
Before writing this review, our team spent weeks studying real estate trade-in services to compare each company across multiple axes. Our research process included:
- Mystery shopping each company
- Content analysis of hundreds of online reviews
- Interviews with real estate experts
- Spreadsheet analysis to compare each service provider's terms and fees
TechCrunch. "Raising a $32M Series A, Knock seeks to stand out with new model for selling homes." Accessed March 12, 2021. Updated January 31, 2017.
Forbes. "Knock Home Swap: A Timely Solution For Home Sellers Who Are Also Home Buyers To Bid Competitively." Accessed March 12, 2021. Updated November 23, 2020.
Inman. "Want to win the bidding wars? Here's how." Accessed March 12, 2021. Updated February 22, 2021.
Knock. "Frequently Asked Questions." Accessed March 12, 2021. Updated 2021.
Investopedia. "Origination Fee." Accessed March 12, 2021. Updated August 27, 2020.
PR Newswire. "Knock Expands Presence in Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, Tennessee and Texas to Empower More Homeowners to Buy Before They Sell." Accessed February 28, 2022. Updated August 19, 2021.