A property start-up has raised £150,000 from backers.
Knock for Sale connects buyers with people whose homes may not be on the market, via ‘digitalised’ letter drops.
Knock for Sale’s business model is based on two findings from research: first, that three times as many home owners are thinking about selling than the number of homes listed for sale online; and second, that 54% of home owners whose properties are not on the market would respond to an enquiry letter through their door.
Knock for Sale cuts out estate agents and aims to boost the number of private sales.
The website says that the service allows anyone to express an interest in a property “whether it’s on the market or not”, suggesting that it could be a vehicle for private buyers to ‘tout’ for homes being marketed by agents.
However, Knock for Sale co-founder Chris Allen said: “If a buyer were to connect with a home owner whose property is on the market with an agent, the seller would have to abide by the agreed terms. The buyer still has the opportunity to purchase their dream home.”
Founded by Kerrie Powell and Allen two years ago, the business prints and posts cards from buyers to home owners.
The site, which is funded by the £5 fee for sending a card, gives home owners the opportunity to connect with potential buyers via a secure messaging system.
Powell said: “Data shows many home owners would seriously consider an offer if approached, even though they aren’t actively in the process of selling.
“Increasing the number of direct approaches and private sales could oil the wheels of the property market.
“Hand delivering flyers is recommended by plenty of property gurus but one of its pitfalls –along with territorial dogs and twitching curtains – is that buyers have to be there, and give out their contact information.
“Our service offers a layer of security and convenience for buyers, as well as the opportunity to secure a home that’s not on the market.
“And for home owners we offer the possibility of a direct sale without having to pay commissions or fees to estate agents.”
One of the new backers is Flatshare entrepreneur Rupert Hunt, who has invested £75,000. The remaining half comes from Felix Milns, founder of architectural practice Zulufish Residential, and actor and angel investor James Murray.