By far the #1 marketing tool for selling real estate is the MLS database.  When a property is input into the MLS, typically by the listing agent or an assistant, some data such as property characteristics are auto-populated into the MLS from public records. The rest is input by the agent. One of the most important bits of info input by the listing agent is the Area the property is located in. The local MLS/Board of Realtors divided up the southland into hundreds of geographical Areas and provided numbers and acronyms for each area. Example, Hollywood Riviera is 128, Malaga Cove is 163, South Carson is 139, etc.  There are drop-down lists, maps and other tools that make it pretty simple for the agent to pick the correct Area.  If the agent picks the wrong area then the listing won’t show up in the MLS search results for the right area. That’s a colossal blunder because when agents search the MLS for listings to show their buyers they almost always select one or more Areas as a search parameter. If the listing doesn’t show up in the search results then the huge majority of the Realtors that might have a buyer for that listing won’t know about it and showings will be greatly reduced. Exposure to the market is everything in getting the best price for a property so if the exposure isn’t there the seller loses.

Here’s where Area 699 comes in.  Area 699 is tagged as “Not Defined”, meaning is has no geographic equivalent. While 699 served a purpose years ago when listings were reciprocated with other MLS’s, now it’s mostly where listings go to disappear. There are probably three reasons why an agent would list a property in 699.  First would be if there’s no geographical equivalent in our MLS. That’s usually only the case when one lists a property far outside its home MLS area, like if I listed something in San Rafael (400 miles north of me), which would be a huge disservice to my seller if I were to actually do that.  Second reason would be the agent might be a newby and simply didn’t know how to find the correct area for the property, still a bad mistake.  The third and far more egregious reason, and probably the most likely reason, would be that the listing agent simply doesn’t want the listing exposed to other agents because he or she wants to sell it himself so he won’t have to split the commission with another agent. Therefore he or she intentionally chooses to bury the listing in the wrong part of the MLS so it’s undiscoverable by the tens of thousands of other agents that use the MLS. Needless to say, that lack of exposure to what is the largest source of buyers will ensure the seller doesn’t get full exposure to the market and therefore most likely won’t get the best price for their property.

Area 699 listings are relatively few in the more sophisticated markets.  Of the 970 properties listed this past August south of the 105 and west of the 710, only 53 were in 699. That’s about 5.5%. Not bad I guess, but still totally inexcusable and very unfortunate for those sellers. Hopefully this post will help educate people of one more thing to keep an eye out for when they decide to list.

If you’re thinking of selling please contact me for a free consultation. I have 30 years of real estate sales sales and marketing experience and would love to show you how I can be of value to you when you decide to sell.



Photo cred: By User:Alain r (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.