Cristal's Blog


October 12, 2023

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When it's time to showcase your luxury property in Santa Barbara's most exclusive neighborhoods, it's essential to have access to superior marketing techniques, exceptional negotiation abilities, and a well-connected network of highly qualified buyers. This underscores the critical importance of choosing the right real estate agent.

Here’s a list of 8 effective actions sellers can take when selling a luxury home in Santa Barbara and getting top-dollar any time of the year.

The motor court and courtyard of a stylish Montecito Spanish hacienda

Secrets For Santa Barbara Home Sellers

1. Elevate Your Curb Appeal Year-Round
Your home's curb appeal is a critical factor that transcends the seasons. Be inspired by the vibrant hues in spring, the sun-soaked days of summer, the enchanting colors of fall, or the cozy ambiance of winter. And don’t overlook your front porch. It deserves to be presented in the best light, too The key is to strike a balance between seasonal decorations and the timeless charm of your property. Tasteful accents always create an inviting atmosphere, ensuring that your home's beauty is front and center. And remember, maintaining an impeccable yard is your one chance to make a lasting first impression, no matter what time of year it is.

2. Thoughtful Seasonal Decorations
Seasonal decorations can be a source of joy, but it's important to remember that a potential buyer's tastes can vary. To make your home universally appealing, opt for decor that is tasteful and inclusive. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that your decor choices resonate with a broad audience, creating an atmosphere that knows no bounds.

The light-filled living room of a luxury Montecito home, with large multi-pane windows and high-end furnishings

3. Maximize Natural Light
Santa Barbara's enviable sunshine is a year-round blessing. Clean windows and the unfettered flow of natural light into your home highlight its most alluring features. And remember: beautiful lamps are your allies, ensuring that each room is ready to impress, all year long.

4. Create a Winning Atmosphere
A warm and welcoming atmosphere is always in style, regardless of the time of year. Consider introducing seasonal elements like throw pillows to your interior decor. De-cluttering is essential, making your home feel open and appealing. Vases of seasonal foliage or bowls of fresh fruit can be a enduring touch, enhancing your home's character during the fall, winter, spring or summer.

A spacious bedroom with terracotta tile floor, high wood-beam ceiling, a kiva fireplace, and multiple windows.

5. Fireplace Appeal
The allure of a fireplace is eternal here in Santa Barbara. Whether it's the crackling warmth of winter or the comfy ambiance of a summer evening enhanced by ocean breezes, the fireplace is a cherished feature. Even if you don't plan to light it during showings, maintaining its cleanliness and presentation is vital. A well-kept fireplace with a fresh look adds character to your home.

6. Appeal to the Senses
Invoking the senses is an evergreen strategy. Whether it's the sweet scent of vanilla, the spicy notes of cinnamon, or the aromas associated with each season, you can create the right atmosphere through our five senses. Consider going the extra mile by offering delightful treats during open houses, or keep a scented candle burning to set a welcoming mood that transcends the boundaries.

The lush backyard of a Spanish hacienda in Montecito CA, with a large tree, beautiful landscaping, walking paths, and the home in the bakground

7. Showcase Outdoor Living Spaces
Regardless of the season, outdoor living spaces are an asset. In spring and summer, highlight your garden, patio, or pool area by keeping them well-maintained and adorned with appealing furniture and decor. In fall and winter, consider adding extra touches like outdoor heaters, blankets, or even a fire pit to make these spaces appealing. And buyers are looking for ways to take advantage of our perfect Mediterranean weather.

8. Embrace Virtual Tours
In today's tech-savvy world, virtual tours have become an invaluable tool for home sales. Offer potential buyers the opportunity to explore your home from the comfort of their own space. High-quality virtual tours like the one featured on the webpage of my recently sold Classic Spanish Courtyard Hacienda, featured throughout this blog post. Virtual tours are effective year round, designed to showcase your property in the best light while allowing prospective buyers to get a feel for your home.

I hope these tips for selling your luxury Santa Barbara home in every season inspire you to choose me as your sales representative. Whether you're selling or buying a home in Santa Barbara, Montecito, Hope Ranch, Summerland, Carpinteria, or Ojai, I'm here to guide you throughout the year. Explore my comprehensive website, and when you're ready, don't hesitate to call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at Your journey to selling or finding your dream home begins with a conversation with me, no matter the season.

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Client Reviews

“It was an emotional experience selling our mother’s home in Montecito that we all loved so much but Cristal made the process easier on our whole family by guiding us through the transaction every step of the way. She knows the market so well and everything she recommended was on point including the asking price, painting, and staging the home, which looked beautiful and helped the buyer envision her new home. We sold it the first day it hit the market with an offer above asking! Cristal did an incredible job communicating with us and the buyer to ensure that the transaction would run smoothly. We highly recommend using Cristal, she was a pleasure to work with! ”

- J & A

“Cristal is a pleasure to work with! Her knowledge of the local real estate market coupled with her amazing listening skills resulted in her showing us an array of homes that were all excellent choices. Her low-pressure patient attitude made us feel extremely comfortable with the whole process. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

- M.F.

“Cristal Clarke is #1 in her field - and you don't become #1 by luck. Cristal works harder, and longer, and with more charm and patience than any real estate agent I have ever worked with in the past; her calendar has no weekend, her days have no clocks, her only concern is selling your property as soon as possible and for the best price on the market. Am I a fan? You bet!”

- P.B.

“We have used Cristal now several times and cannot express how grateful we are for her expertise, dedication, and unwavering support throughout the entire home-buying process. Cristal is knowledgeable, patient and attentive. Her attention to detail is remarkable, and she consistently went above and beyond to provide us with all the information and resources we needed to make informed decisions. Cristal is a skillful negotiator and advocate. She can navigate complex negotiations with professionalism and grace and felt like a true partner to us in the home-buying process. Cristal has a genuine passion for real estate and a deep commitment to her clients' satisfaction. I cannot speak highly enough of Cristal and her exceptional service. She is a true expert in her field and her dedication to excellence, combined with unwavering support is the reason we choose to work with her for all our real estate buying needs.”

- T.C.

“Cristal is a top-notch realtor who sold my home before it ever went on the market. I had two competing offers that enabled me to get top dollar for my home. Not only is Cristal superb but her team is extraordinary. I cannot say enough about Cristal and her team. They are simply phenomenal, the consummate professionals, who took care of every possible detail, making the sale and transition period, smooth from our end. They are also lovely, caring people, who knew all the right professionals, to get the job done. Thank you, everyone!”

- D.R.

“I could list lots of cool adjectives to describe Cristal. All good by the way. But, that is not why I or anyone should hire Cristal. My reason for hiring her, which proved to be correct, is very simple. She got the job done. And, she does it time and time again and with zero issues. And, that is why she is one of the top agents in the country. End of subject. ”

- M.A.

“Working with Cristal was a complete pleasure. Cristal was extremely patient with us as we evaluated nearly 2 dozen homes over a span of 2 years. Her knowledge of the market is unmatched. Cristal provided us with exceptional counsel as we evaluated opportunities and negotiated pricing. The closing process was handled thoroughly and efficiently. We could not be happier with our purchase and even more happy to now call Cristal our friend.”

- D.K.

“Cristal Clarke has conducted numerous real estate transactions for me beginning 13 years ago with the purchase of a Lemon Ranch. She has handled both large and small purchases and sales with equal dedication. As a negotiator, you can’t find anyone better. Her transactions are always conducted in the most appropriate and professional manner. Cristal has considerable knowledge of the Santa Barbara market.”

- S.N. Decker Ph.D.

“Living in Europe, we were to say the least, unaccustomed to the nuances of Real Estate acquisition in California and Cristal steered us through the process with absolute professionalism and personal attention to detail at every turn. Her in-depth knowledge of the market place combined with enthusiasm and drive was the only reason we secured the property of our dreams and will be forever grateful. If you are looking for personal discrete and private representation of the highest quality we suggest you look no further than Cristal Clarke.”

- Johan and Paula van den Berg

“Cristal is very straightforward, cheerful, helpful, professional and trustworthy….we felt very lucky to work with her.”

- John and Lacey Williams

“After considering our many choices, we are grateful it was Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International who represented the sale of our Montecito cottage. We are familiar with Cristal’s reputation of hard work and dedication to clients, but it was her attention to detail that made our experience so positive. She offered suggestions for staging the property, worked in harmony with potential buyers and was even able to secure back up offers. The sale of our cottage was completed much sooner than we expected, due in great part to Cristal’s professional skills and support. We highly recommend Cristal as a first choice for anyone needing representation with real estate.”

- Michael & Nancy Lee

“Our experience in working with Cristal Clarke resulted in the successful and discrete acquisition of a property which was not yet on the open market. Her knowledge of the Montecito/Santa Barbara area and vast expertise blended with her passion for real estate and architecture, provided us with the very highest level of professionalism and personalized services. Cristal exhibited a rare combination of excellent communications, attention to detail, creativity and patience.”

- Richard and Catherine Frinier

“Cristal really breaks the mold. She knows every nook and cranny of this real estate market, understands value, and follows up on everything, all the time. She was incredibly patient with our two year quest to find the perfect house. Every house hunting trip from across the country was well planned, and our time was never wasted. On top of her professionalism and expertise, she is delightful to spend time with. We are thrilled with the home we purchased, and grateful to Cristal for so wisely advising us through this process, right through to the close and beyond.”

- Laurie Siegel

“We met Cristal first in the course of renting a winter home (for three years), then buying a house using her as our agent. She was amazingly good at listening to our wants and showing us homes that fit our needs. Her mastery of the paperwork was perfect. Most importantly, there was never a situation where we doubted her straightforwardness or integrity. If we do another real estate transaction in Montecito (which I doubt, we’re happy with what we purchased), without question we’d use Cristal again.”

- Ken Saffir

“Susan and I just want to thank you for your efforts in the sale of our home. You are really quite amazing. Your competence, persistence, optimism and humor made the entire process effortless. Every problem that arose, you somehow fixed; any obstacle, you overcame. We have bought and sold many homes. It has never been such a painless and enjoyable process!”

- Michael & Susan Marquart

“A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”

- Rob & Judi Kelch