Working at home wasn’t working for Katy and Casey Dailey. She works in marketing and advertising, and he played linebacker for the New York Jets for three seasons before becoming a special education teacher. The three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,880-square-foot Carrollton home that the Chicago and California transplants had purchased in 2013 seemed to get smaller every day during the pandemic—especially when their two boys, 9 and 10 years old, started distance learning.

“We needed an office, needed to spread out, and needed to not see our children every second of the day,” Katy says.

Their decision this spring to buy a new home made sense. But little else seemed to once the Daileys entered the market. Katy describes the process of buying and selling as “crazy,” “stressful,” and “chaotic.”

Her real estate agent, Brian Micalizzi, calls it something else. “The market right now,” says the owner of Micalizzi Real…

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