Villa Real Estate to close with agents moving to Coldwell Banker

Agency sold OC’s top-priced home, but market slowdown prompts move to big brokerage

Steve High
Steve High (Coldwell Banker Realty)

After a run of more than a decade, partners at Villa Real Estate have ended their status as an independent firm and affiliated with Coldwell Banker Realty’s Newport Beach office, The Real Deal has learned.

Villa co-founder and investor Gary Jabara, also well-known as founder and CEO of wireless infrastructure company Mobilitie, signed papers to change affiliations to Coldwell Banker on April 25. Villa Real Estate’s five partners and 20 agents will move to the new brokerage. 

Villa Real Estate will formally cease operations and the company name will be retired around July 1 when escrows on remaining deals wrap up, said Steve High, a co-founder and the firm’s president. 

The decision to affiliate with Coldwell Banker Realty was agreed upon by the partners because of market slowdowns across the nation and in the Southern California market.

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“The last quarter of 2022 was the slowest quarter since 2011,” High said. “We felt like if this continues, we want to be with as strong of a company we can find. You want to be on the best battleship out there.”

During its run, Villa Real Estate sold some of Orange County’s priciest homes, and it holds records for certain OC deals. High and another Villa Real Estate co-founder, Evan Corkett, represented the seller for 2585 Riviera Drive in Laguna Beach in 2021. The $70 million deal for this oceanfront mansion is the priciest home deal in Orange County. 

Other notable deals Villa Real Estate worked on include a 2020 transaction for author Dean Koontz’s home at 1 Canyon Terrace, which closed at $50 million. In March 2021, the agency worked on the $41 million deal for the sale of the mansion at 28 Midsummer on Newport Coast.

Villa Real Estate partners affiliating with Coldwell Banker Realty will include High, who formerly worked as a vice president for Coldwell Banker Realty Newport Beach. Others moving to the company will be Corkett, Tim Carr, Jon Flagg and Kim Bibb who sold real estate worth more than $141.5 million in 2020, according to Real Trends. John Stanaland, a top agent, affiliated Douglas Elliman with his 11-person team in January. 

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