In March, I wrote a post expressing frustration with the absence of square-footage and lot-size information in online listings from the Combined L.A./Westside Multiple listing Service, known as CLAW MLS. As its name implies, CLAW is the MLS for L.A. from downtown to the ocean, encompassing some of the most sought-after homes in the world. So the lack of basic information was particularly maddening.
It soon became apparent that I wasn’t the only one upset with CLAW, because that post and one the next day generated more than 50 comments on Redfin and on Curbed L.A., which picked up the post. Finally, someone representing CLAW came on the blog and wrote a response. This person, who did not identify himself or herself, said that if Redfin would simply ask, CLAW would provide the information.
To clarify: For its database of listings, Redfin relies on data feeds provided by regional MLSs. CLAW’s feeds simply never included the same depth of information that other MLSs did. And to our knowledge, no public listings from CLAW, including those on its own site, the mls.com, included this information.
Until now. Because, at CLAW’s invitation, we DID ask. And as of yesterday, when Redfin released an amazing new upgrade of its site, all CLAW listings include square footage. Yay!
A couple of caveats: We still don’t have a couple of other data fields we were seeking from CLAW, including lot size and year built. The folks at Redfin are working on getting that from CLAW. We’ll keep you posted.
Redfin is extremely grateful to have the square-footage information and be able to provide it to the public. We are wondering, however, whether CLAW plans to provide square footage and other data to other public sites, such as its own site, or Realtor.com, or the others. If anyone from CLAW would care to respond here, we would welcome your input.
To the folks at CLAW who made this happen: On behalf of potential buyers and real-estate junkies everywhere, THANK YOU.
By the way, the updated Redfin site now includes more listings than ever, including bank-owned foreclosures and FSBOs (For Sale By Owner). Redfin’s goal is to become the most comprehensive real estate data site out there, and this is a huge leap in that direction. Check it out.