6 min read time
On August 17th, Justin Barnwell got the call he’d been waiting for.
“Justin, we’d like to relocate you to Kansas City and have you manage our Overland Park office.”
Woo-hoo!! After being restless at his job in Omaha for the past few years, Justin had started looking for something new back in June. So when he got the call to go work for a company he admired, Justin was thrilled.
Sara, Justin’s wife, was also excited about the opportunity. With the new position, Justin would be making more money, and they had heard great things about Kansas City.
That night, Justin and Sara went out to dinner to celebrate. While waiting for dessert to arrive, Sara told Justin, “I am so excited to relocate to Kansas City. But if I’m being honest, I am a little nervous about the next few months. Selling our house here in Omaha and finding a new one in Kansas City feels a little overwhelming. Especially with what I’ve been hearing about the real estate housing market.”
The Barnwells listed their house in Omaha right away. And within 48 hours they had an outstanding offer in hand.
The race was on. Now they had to find a house in Kansas City. But they realized they knew very little about the area they were relocating to. What were the best schools for their two girls? What did they want in a new home?
Luckily, Justin’s new boss referred them to Wendy Diskin. She’s an experienced realtor in Kansas City with three teen-aged kids of her own. Wendy knew all about the different neighborhoods and school districts in the area. And just as important, she knew all about the crazy state of the real estate housing market.
We’re in a Seller’s Market
Since we entered the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, we have seen a seller’s market emerge across the US. The last time we were anywhere near this sort of trend was before the burst of the real estate bubble in 2008.
A seller’s market happens when there is high demand for homes, but a short supply.
According to the National Association of Realtors, we are currently seeing an inventory of about 2.5 months. Meaning that at the rate homes are currently being purchased, it would take 2.5 months for them all to sell.
When the market is balanced, there will be 6 months of inventory, so you can see how extreme the trend is right now.
There is a short supply, so homes are selling at a break-neck pace. That makes the housing market extremely competitive, causing prices to increase to record highs.
A year ago, the average Days on Market (DOM) for a house in Austin, TX was around two months. But by the summer of 2021, the average DOM had dropped to 14 days according to a study published by the Texas Real Estate Research Center.
Admittedly, Austin is one of the hottest markets in the country. But Dallas and Kansas City are both showing similar trends.
In the summer of 2021, Dallas saw DOM drop to 22-23 days. And the Kansas City Association of Realtors reported that DOM was down to just 18 days.
House Hunting in a Seller’s Market
The weekend after they got the contract on their house in Omaha, the Barnwells went to Kansas City to look for their new home.
Ready for a day of house hunting, the family hopped into Wendy’s car. But Sara’s head started spinning when Wendy told them, “I want you to be prepared. We only have a few houses to look at today, because that is all that is available. The market is seriously crazy right now. Move-in-ready houses are selling in less than 24 hours for $20K to $30K over the asking price. When you find something you like, we’ll have to move fast and we’ll have to be very aggressive to get our offer accepted.”
“What have we done?” Sara thought. “We know so little about this area we’re relocating to, and these decisions are going to impact our family for years!”
The Barnwells spent the weekend driving around with Wendy looking at various areas. After touring the houses that were available, they put in a strong offer on one of them. They didn’t love the house, but since they were under the gun, “it would do.” As Sara said to Justin, “we only have 30 days to find a house and move in or we are going to be homeless!”
The entire drive back to Omaha Sara was restless. “Did they make the right decision? Was their offer good enough to get accepted?”
As they pulled into the driveway, they got their answer. Wendy was calling with bad news. The sellers chose another offer and they were going to have to start the search over.
But then Wendy said something that changed everything.
“Sara,” she started, “I don’t want you to panic about finding the right house. We made a lot of progress this weekend. Think about all you accomplished. You decided on a school district and an area that you really liked. Let’s just slow down. Relocating to a new city is stressful even when you’re not dealing with a market like we’re in now. I want you to take your time and find the right home.”
Easy for her to say, Sara thought, she’s not the one in this impossible situation.
But then Wendy went on, “I want you to call ExecuStay Midwest. They are a corporate housing company and they have furnished apartments. Once your house closes in Omaha, you can get the girls enrolled in school here in Kansas City. You can live in a gorgeous furnished apartment until you find the perfect house. It will have everything you need, plus a few extra amenities, and you can take all the time you need to find a house you love.”
Wendy explained that corporate housing is a great option for families relocating to a new city since you can stay on a month-to-month basis. That way, you aren’t locked into a long-term lease if you find a home in 30 or 60 days.
The apartments are furnished with everything you need, including dishes and linens. That meant the Barnwells could pack up the house in Omaha, keeping everything in storage until they were ready to move into their new home.
Everything you need is included in your temporary stay including all kitchen essentials, bed & bath linens, SmartTVs, WiFi, washer & dryer, furniture, and more.
Real Estate Housing Market Predictions
As we enter the fall of 2021, the demand crunch has started to level off. Diskin says that “instead of houses selling in one day for $30K over asking price, we’re seeing them sell in 3-4 days for $10K over asking price. So the market has cooled slightly, but it is nowhere near back to normal.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has made it difficult to predict trends, to say the least. But experts predict this seller’s market will continue into the foreseeable future.
“If you’re thinking of selling your home, now may be the right time to do it. Across the country, it’s a seller’s market, meaning demand is outpacing supply. That supply-and-demand imbalance puts sellers in a great position to sell their homes at a premium price” Diskin says in an article on her blog.
Having a resource like ExecuStay Midwest for temporary housing is a big relief for any family that is between homes, but especially for families that are relocating. Having a corporate housing resource, allows families to take advantage of the seller’s market with confidence. They know they will not be living in Grandma’s basement when their house sells quickly. Or worse, packing the whole family in a tiny hotel room.
If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, contact us to learn more about corporate housing in your area. ExecuStay Midwest has locations throughout the central corridor of the US. They are located in 8 states from Nebraska and Iowa in the north, to Texas and Louisiana in the south. Also, we can help you find temporary housing no matter where you are through our network of corporate housing partners.