If you've been a homeowner for a few years, there's a good chance that you've recently built considerable equity in your property. Average home values rose 16.9% in 2021 which was the highest single-year increase on record.
That means a lot of homeowners today may find themselves sitting on a nice pile of equity. But unless you sell your home, it can be challenging to tap into that money — especially if you have bad credit or a nontraditional income.
But what if you could access your home's equity without immediately moving out? That’s what EasyKnock is offering homeowners. The company offers three different sale-leaseback options which allow you to become a renter in your home.
Curious about what EasyKnock could do for you? Let’s take a closer look at its offerings.
- Access your's home equity and stay as a renter
- No strict eligibility requirements
- May be able to repurchase your home later
- Potential to receive appreciation with certain programs
Up to 90% of your home's cash value or $450,000
Sell & Stay: Yes
Potential To Receive Appreciation
Sell & Stay: Yes
Processing fee: 3.49% to 3.99%
Annual rent increase (for those who remain as renters for more than one year): 2.5% or CPI
Option fee for the "Sell & Stay" program: ~3% per year
What Is EasyKnock?
EasyKnock offers homeowners specialized leaseback programs to homeowners. Since its founding in 2016, the New York-based real estate technology company has built a good reputation among homeowners.
EasyKnock provides financial solutions for homeowners with various needs. For one, it could provide a much-need influx of cash for homeowners who are facing difficult economic choices. But it could also be a good option for those who are planning to buy a new home soon.
In this second case, homeowners could use EasyKnock to access the lion's share of their equity up front while avoiding the inconvenience of moving until they've closed on their next home purchase. Having that cash in hand could also enable them to increase the down payment on their new home.
What Does It Offer?
EasyKnock offers homeowners three different options. With each, you can expect to unlock the equity of your home without moving out immediately. Plus, more lenient credit and income requirements can provide options for those with bad credit or a low income.
Sell & Stay
With the Sell & Stay option, you can get access to up to 75% of your home’s appraised value in cash within weeks. After the home sale is finalized, EasyKnock will rent out the property to you for the market rate.
The lease starts with a 12-month term with the ability to renew. You can buy back the property or have EasyKnock sell it. The price will be decided in the original contract. You can plan for that cost if you plan on buying the property back.
If you decide not to repurchase the home, you can inform EasyKnock when they can sell it on the open market. Depending on the market, you may receive funds from appreciation when the second sale closes.
The MoveAbility option offers a solution for homeowners planning to move but need help bridging the financial gap. With MoveAbility, you can receive up to 85% of the home’s value in cash upfront. You’ll receive the remaining 15% when EasyKnock sells the home to another buyer.
Although the MoveAbility program allows you to live in the home, there is a 12-month maximum lease. You won’t have the option to repurchase your home. but you can receive additional funds due to appreciation if EasyKnock sells your home for more than it agreed to pay you for it.
ReLease is the final option offered by EasyKnock. It offer the most upfront equity access to homeowner. In fact, you can receive up to 90% of your home’s value in your initial cash proceeds.
When EasyKnock purchases your home, you’ll receive a 24-month lease with the ability to renew indefinitely. However, there is no option to repurchase the home. And you won’t have the right to any appreciation benefits when you direct EasyKnock to sell the home after your lease.
Borrowers with bad credit or lower income, you may struggle to take out a HELOC or home equity loan. But EasyKnock looks beyond your traditional credit score and income streams to make a determination on your ability to consistently pay your rent on time.
Importantly, EasyKnock promises to look at your entire credit profile. Plus, they will look at any income streams not attached to a W-2. That can significantly improve your chances for this deal to work out.
EasyKnock Does Not Share In Depreciation
As you've been reading through how EasyKnock works, you may think that there business is similar to home equity investment companies like Unison or Hometap. And it's true that all of the three of these companies can help you unlock cash in your home without requiring you to move.
But with home equity share agreements, if your home decreases in value, so does the amount that you'll need to repay when you settle the investment. That's not the case with EasyKnock. And since the amount that you can get upfront is limited to 75% to 90% of your home's appraised value, EasyKnock's risk of not getting all of that money back when your home sells on the open market is very low.
On the plus side, EasyKnock also doesn't share in any future appreciation if you choose the Sell & Stay or MoveAbility programs (but, remember, it will be receiving monthly rent payments until you direct it to sell your property). However, with the ReLease program, EasyKnock receives all the future appreciation benefits while still offering no downside protection.
Are There Any Fees?
Not surprisingly, there are fees associated with EasyKnock’s offerings.
First, there is a purchase fee that ranges from 3.49% to 3.99%. Additionally, you’ll have to pay any traditional closing costs that are your responsibility as the seller. For example, you may have to pay a recording fee to your county.
If you're renting the home from EasyKnock, the rent price is initially determined based on the market. But each year, you’ll see a rent increase of 2.5% or the Consumer Price Index, whichever is higher.
Finally, with the Sell & Stay product, there is an Option fee of around 3% per year. The final Option fee will vary based on your home’s price.
How Does EasyKnock Compare?
EasyKnock offers a relatively unique way to tap into your home’s equity. But there are other ways to tap into your home’s equity without moving.
Home equity loans and home equity lines of credit are still popular options for homeowners seeking to access cash from their home’s equity. But if you're looking for non-traditional options, you may want to look at home equity investment company, like Hometap or Unison.
Check out how EasyKnock compares in this quick chart:
Up to $450,000
Up to $400,000
Up to $500,000
Home equity investments
Home equity investments
3.49% to 3.99%
How Do I Open An Account?
Do you want to work with EasyKnock?
The process starts by pre-qualifying with the company. This involves providing some information about your current home. Be prepared to provide your address, your name, basic information about your income, and more.
If you pre-qualify, then you can move on to the official application. At that point, you continue with the home closing process and access the cash you are looking for.
Is It Safe And Secure?
From a financial standpoint, it should also be pointed out that there's a risk of eviction if you fail to make your monthly rent payments to EasyKnock. This added risk is one of the reasons that Feldman & Feldman filed a lawsuit against EasyKnock in July 2021, alleging that it used "predatory lending tactics." EasyKnock filed a counter defamation suit in Novemeber 2021. Both suits are ongoing.
How Do I Contact EasyKnock?
If you need to get in contact with EasyKnock, you can reach out over email at email@example.com. Or you can call 844-888-9213 to speak to a customer service representative.
Additionally, you can connect on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn @EasyKnock.
If you decide to work with EasyKnock, customer reviews point to a satisfying experience. EasyKnock has earned 4.7 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot and 4.19 out of 5 stars on the Better Business Bureau.
Is It Worth It?
EasyKnock provides a relatively unique opportunity to tap into the cash value of your home without picking up stakes. The ability to stay in your home while opening up your finances with a potential cash infusion has obvious upsides.
For time periods of up to a year, EasyKnock's Sell & Stay and MoveAbility programs might be worth considering. But if you want to stay in your home for a year or longer, we tend to think that you should seek alternative financing options rather than the ReLease program which requires you to give up the rights to repurchase your home or participate in your future appreciation.
If you don't think EasyKnock is right for you, other options to unlock cash in your home include home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, or home equity investments. Or if you don't mind moving, selling your home may be your best financial choice since it doesn't require any borrowing.
Min Upfront Equity Access
Max Upfront Equity Access
90% of home's appraised value or $450,000
Lease Renewals Allowed
Potential To Receive Appreciation
Annual Rent Increase:
2.5% or CPI
Sell & Stay Option Fee
~3% per year
Minimum Credit Score
Customer Service Number
Customer Service Email
Mobile App Availability
Web/Desktop Account Access
Rates & Fees
Ease of Use
EasyKnock allows homeowners to access up to 90% of their home’s equity upfront and allows them to stay as renters until they’re ready to move.
- Unique funding options
- Receive the cash without moving out
- No minimum credit score requirements
- Not available in all markets
- You won’t be a homeowner anymore
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.