Since August, I’ve been posting up to five times a week on this blog about real estate trends in Beverly Hills, Hollywood and Westwood. Redfin gives us bloggers leeway in what to blog about, but when we’re writing about specific properties, it asks us to include several details that readers always want to know about. Among them: square footage and lot size.
I’ve been handicapped in this endeavor, because the Combined L.A./Westside Multiple Listing Service, a.k.a. CLAW MLS, which covers L.A. from downtown to the ocean, almost never includes square footage or lot size in its online listings. This is in contrast to other MLSs, such as CRISnet and SoCal MLS, which serve the Valley and Long Beach, which include them in every listing, from what I can see. Click here for an example of what I mean — CLAW listings almost always have dashes where the square footage and lot size should be.
To get square footage and lot size, I’ve relied on the great site Property Shark, which gives you everything you’d ever want to know about a property. But Property Shark includes only data from the last sale, so if the place has been remodeled, that square footage won’t show up. Also, it’s time-consuming to chase information that should me at my — and your — fingertips.
I’ve wondered all along why CLAW doesn’t include this information. In fact, I blogged about it when I first started. I asked a local agent about it recently. I won’t mention the name, since the agent didn’t give me permission to quote what was said. The agent said that CLAW doesn’t require square footage, and that that was fine with many agents who feel that listing square footage would work to their disadvantage.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided it was time to go straight to the source and ask the folks in charge of CLAW MLS what their reasoning was. Maybe I was just missing something.
Unfortunately, my voicemails, phone calls, e-mails and, finally, a visit this week to CLAW’s Robertson Boulevard offices yielded no response. So I still can only speculate as to what its reasoning is.
Maybe this post won’t make any difference to the way CLAW does business. But if you’ve noticed and/or been frustrated by this omission, voice your opinion, either to CLAW directly or on this blog. Agents can urge CLAW to change its policy and include the information in their personal listings.