Real Estate Tech CEO Sean Black on the transaction revolution

Today’s HousingWire Daily features a crossover episode with RealTrending. In this episode, Tracey Velt, editorial director at HW Media Company RealTrends, interviews the CEO and founder of, Sean Black. Knock offers cash-buying and alternate financing options for consumers looking to buy or sell a home.

During the interview, Black discusses the company’s relationship with brokerages and shares his thoughts on the next wave of disruption for the real estate industry: the transaction revolution.

Here is a small preview of the interview, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity:

Tracey Velt: I want to talk about this new move to all-cash buyers. I’ve seen an explosion of companies recently that are moving to that model, or building that financing model. Talk to me in general about that trend, and why it’s so important.

Sean Black: We started this buy before you sell. Look at Trulia and Zillow. They ultimately became the Zillow Group. We democratized the process for buyers. Now, if you think about now versus 2005, buyers have a lot more information. Agents don’t have to hand-hold buyers and educate them as long as they used to, because the consumer has a lot of that power at their fingertips. Sellers really didn’t benefit from any of that. They, in fact, still pay what we predict is about a hundred billion in commissions this year, without any more transparency, any more convenience, and any more control.

We think what’s happening now is the transaction revolution. How do we get into the transaction in a way that opens it up for consumers? Again, there are two approaches to doing it. One is, we are a lender. We can give the consumer a new mortgage on a new home at a competitive rate, before any other lender in credit, including the big banks or large mortgage companies, because we use data science and technology to figure out and underwrite their old home. All we’re doing is giving you your new mortgage before anybody else would. Giving you the equity out of your old home in the form of an interest-free loan to make the down payment on the new home, and get out of the old one quickly.

HousingWire Daily examines the most compelling articles reported across HW Media. Each afternoon, we provide our listeners with a deeper look into the stories coming across our newsrooms that are helping Move Markets Forward. Hosted by the HW team and produced by Alcynna Lloyd and Elissa Branch. If you have a pitch or an inquiry relating to podcasts, you can reach our team at

HousingWire Daily

Hosted by the journalists behind the headlines, HousingWire Daily examines the most compelling mortgage, real estate, and fintech articles reported from the HousingWire newsroom.

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