The Laguna Beach Report – Jan 2019

As we head into February 2019, the Laguna Beach property market is moving into a balanced market, after being in a slight buyer’s market at the end of 2018. 

Days On Market
The expected time on market for Laguna Beach homes has now decreased by 27.9% from 183 days last month to 132 days in Jan 2019.  

Selling Price Per Sq Ft
The selling price per sq ft of Laguna Beach homes increased by 17.9% from $974 in Jan 2018 to $1,148 in Jan 2019.

Home SALE price versus LISTING price
Laguna Beach homes were selling for an average of 86.8% of their listing price in Jan 2019. This is down from an average of 92.8% in Jan 2018, but is an increase over Dec 2018 when homes were selling at 85.2% of their list price.

Active Listings
The number of active listings in Laguna Beach has increased by 26.6% from 207 listings in Jan 2018 to 262 listings in Jan 2019.

Average SALE Price
The average sale price of homes in Laguna Beach reached $3,164,205 in Jan 2019; a significant increase over the average sale price of $2,489,000 of Jan 2018.

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Buy a home in Orange County

What Does Buying The Listing Mean?

“Buying the listing” is a Real Estate industry term that refers to the unethical practice of Realtors knowingly telling a home seller that their property is worth more than it in fact is, in order to get the listing.

Realtors know that most home sellers interview more than one Real Estate Agent when deciding who to list their home with. Sellers generally want to generate as much money as possible from their home sale and usually the seller will select the agent who assures them of the highest possible sale price. 

Unfortunately, some unethical Real Estate agents knowingly capitalize on this by deliberately inflating the suggested listing price they provide to the seller at the listing appointment in order to win the listing over others who told the truth about the home’s market value.

These agents take the listing with a reasonable expectation that they will be able to persuade the seller to agree to a price reduction later on, once it’s their listing. In the meantime, the Realtor benefits from marketing the home, as one listing often leads to others within the same neighborhood, and attracts buyers that they can represent, often on the sale or purchase of other homes and not this specific listing.

By the time the seller realizes this has happened, their home listing is usually stale, and they end up having to reduce the price, often netting less than they would have had the home been priced correctly at first.

If a listing agent assures a home seller of an inflated sale price, then fails to deliver and asks for multiple price reductions, there’s a good chance they “bought the listing”.

Obviously, interviewing several Realtors doesn’t protect you from this, and in fact increases the chances of this happening, so how can a home seller ensure that the listing agent they choose doesn’t ‘buy the listing’? Always ask the Realtor to show you exactly how they came up with the price and ask them to review the recent comps with you. If the Realtor can’t clearly demonstrate their justification for their suggested price, don’t risk listing your home with them.

Sell your Orange County CA home

The 5 Secret Reasons Homes Fail To SELL

  1. The Wrong Marketing

Every property is unique, so there should never be a ‘one size fits all’ marketing approach to selling a home, yet this is the approach adopted by most Realtors, with a ‘spray and pray’ marketing push in which the goal is to market to as many people as possible, regardless of whether they are buyers, in the hopes that sooner or later someone will see the home. 

Our marketing approach involves identifying your home’s likely buyer, creating a marketing profile around them, and tailoring our marketing to put your home in front of the right people via a pro-active approach, rather than marketing to just anyone in a passive way. When you sell your home with us, you will know exactly what marketing we are doing, and more importantly, why we’re doing it. 

2. The Realtor ‘Bought the listing”

Beware of agents who “buy the listing”. This is the industry term for an agent deliberately inflating their suggested listing price in order to persuade the seller to give them the listing. The unethical agents who do this know that the home won’t sell at that price, and they plan from day one to request price reductions at a later date. In the meantime, the agent uses your listing to market themselves and pick up other clients, while your home sits on the market without offers. In order to avoid listing with a Realtor who is trying to buy the listing, always ask them to show you the comps they used to determine the listing price they are suggesting.

3. Presentation:

No matter how beautifully finished your home may be, there are a number of tried and tested home staging techniques we use to help your home appeal to buyers, and almost every property listing can benefit from these tricks. It’s all about encouraging buyers to imagine living in your home; when they start envisioning their new life in the property, they get emotionally attached to your home and don’t want to be outbid.

Your home could be the nicest in town, but if your listing photos don’t present the home in the best possible way, they actually hinder your chances of a successful sale. Too often we see stale listings with photos clearly snapped by the Realtor on their phone, with no thought given as to the best presentation of the home. In fact, this happens so often that there are websites dedicated to sharing these bad listing photos.

4. Buyer’s agent commissions:

Although buyer’s agents aren’t supposed to be swayed by higher or lower commissions, they are human beings with bills to pay, and most don’t sell more than a couple of homes per year. The amount of commission offered by your agent to the buyer’s agent can mean the difference between selling your home very quickly, or not at all. The amount of commission offered to the buyer’s agent on your home sale should be discussed with you; if it isn’t, you should question why not. Often, a listing agent will offer a low commission to the buyer’s agent in order to keep more money for themselves or to list for a discount fee; this then hinders the home’s sale because few buyer’s agents are willing to show the property to their clients. We always offer an attractive commission to encourage buyer’s agents to show your home.

5. Your Realtor:

While most people believe that all Realtors offer the same level of service and the same types of marketing, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The Realtor you choose to sell your home really can make or break the deal. An inexperienced agent doesn’t know what they don’t know, and often make mistakes throughout the transaction that can significantly reduce the level of buyer interest (such as the wrong marketing), the number of other agents willing to show the property (their reputation; the commission offered), or the chances of the deal closing (avoidable errors during the transaction). 

We also often see private MLS remarks listed by the Realtor that contain highly unusual terms, statements and claims that have often not been discussed with the seller. When listing your home for sale, you should always ask to approve the private MLS remarks, as well as the public listing in order to ensure that your agent hasn’t included anything you’re unaware of.

Remember that the number of years the Realtor has been in business does not equate to experience; it is possible for them to do one deal per year for twenty years and not be a skilled real estate professional. Who you work with, truly does matter.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, call me for a no-obligation discussion on (949) 910-2994 – Jenny Sharpe





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