Cristal's Blog


February 17, 2023

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The first day of spring is Monday, March 20, 2023. And those fortunate enough to call Santa Barbara home have much to look forward to, especially this year. Spring is a time of renewal—the season to get outside and bask in the glory of the great outdoors, enjoying longer days, warmer temperatures, and a superbloom of wildflowers. It’s also an ideal time to sell your home, netting thousands of dollars more by listing in the spring when buyers are actively looking to close a deal. So, if you’re thinking of selling in 2023, I suggest you act now!

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” - Leo Tolstoy

A swimming pool surrounded by a terrace adjacent to a luxury home and looking out to a distant ocean view at sunset.

If you’re planning on listing your home in any of the upscale communities in Santa Barbara this year, like the owners of my Mid-Century Style Classic California Ranch Home pictured above, follow the conventional wisdom that says sell in the prime season which begins in spring and lasts through summer. Here are 10 reasons why:

1) Higher sale price
Temperatures aren't the only thing heating up during spring. The housing market intensifies between March and June due to an influx of eager buyers who want to take advantage of school vacation time to make their move. That means more potential buyers competing for the limited inventory that continues in Santa Barbara.

No matter what time of year you list your home, make sure to price it right the first time. If your house is underpriced, you could lose thousands by appealing only to lookie-loos attracted to the low price. On the other hand, if your house is overpriced, you may lose potential buyers initially until having to lower your price to sell. Arriving at an asking price involves up-to-the-minute research and experienced judgment. If you are listing a home in Montecito, Hope Ranch, or any of Santa Barbara's upscale communities, give me a call or shoot me an email. As the leading agent in the area, I have the tools to check out the current real estate market conditions and financing trends to price your home right from the start.

2) Better valuations
When your house is valued, an appraiser will inspect your home, comparing data from other homes that recently sold in your neighborhood. With more homes selling in the spring, the comparable data is much more accurate.

A luxury kitchen with a dining island and stools in the foreground and custom cabinetry in the background.

3) Homes Look Better When the Days are Longer
There's no doubt that everything shines in the spring, especially here in sunny Santa Barbara. Natural sunlight streams through every room, illuminating the entire home in the best possible light. Of course, it's a year-round rule that you should put your home's best face forward when selling. In the spring, Mother Nature practically does it for you. Staging is also a key component in showcasing the property at its best.

4) There Are Plenty of Buyers
Just a few years ago, millennials were brand-new to homebuying, but they've since become a staple demographic of the real estate market. With them, the real estate industry has evolved to utilize technology and data better, helping home shoppers begin their search for available homes online. Nowadays, when a real estate agent lists a house on the local multiple listing service, it also gets picked up by consumer-facing portals and dozens of agent websites, and

A comfortable keeping room with a fireplace next to an upscale home kitchen with a view through a sliding door to the pool outside

5) Sellers Can be Picky
More buyers mean more options for sellers, period. The wave of potential home buyers shopping in the spring means more offers than at other times of the year. So, as long as your property is an attractive option, you can be picky as people fight to claim your house as their own.

6) Bidding Wars
That competition can lead to bidding wars, a headache for buyers but a big plus for sellers. By listing your home when the number of buyers is high, you unlock more chances for bidders and multiple offers. People who sold their homes during this time of year see an average national premium that’s around 2% higher.

    Stunning sunset view to the ocean over a luxurious swimming pool

    7) Natural Curb Appeal
    The ever-important curb appeal is easier to create at this time of year. Think breathtaking ocean views like the image above from the backyard of my Mid-Century Style Classic California Ranch Home. If you’re selling in the spring, your house will naturally have lots of that colorful “pop” to attract the right buyer.

    8) Homes Sell Faster
    Studies show that homes listed in California between mid-March and mid-April sold about 15% faster than those listed during any other time of the year. Another tip to get your home sold quickly is to list on a Thursday. Homes listed on Thursday sell the fastest, with the typical Thursday-listed property going under contract five days faster than homes listed on Sunday. Wednesday and Friday-listed homes were second-best, with the typical home finding a buyer in just four days faster. Homes listed on Sunday take the longest to find a buyer.

    9) Keep a Competitive Mindset
    Even in a seller's market, there's no guarantee your home will be scooped up quickly – or even scooped up at all. So, it's important to emphasize the strengths of your home, even when listing in the spring.

    Take Advantage of the “Spring Lift”
    There is also something emotional that happens in the springtime. Even in areas where the temperatures remain steady throughout the year, like beautiful Santa Barbara, people's attitudes improve in the spring. This change of attitude can make the idea of big life decisions, such as moving, seem more palatable. Plus, homebuyers want to enjoy their new home in the best months of the year, so they are motivated to buy quickly in the spring and pay more.

      All the reasons above explain why spring is an excellent time to sell a home. Just make sure to put your property on the market before the season's peak—which means getting started NOW. Call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at for a free consultation on both selling and buying. I’d be honored to add your home to my portfolio. Happy spring, everyone!

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      Client Reviews

      “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