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Carmel by the Sea Change, Scheduled for March 1, 2017


Since its incorporation October 31 of 1916, Carmel by the Sea has remained a unique creation in Monterey County. From its famous mayors, coveted landscapes, to its refusal to identify street addresses, these qualities have become the marketing banner of Carmel-by-the-Sea (‘CBTS’).

However, these features also bring unique challenges for real estate professionals and the MLS in integrating this one-of-a-kind creation which in many ways can be considered an appendage to the greater Carmel communities such as Carmel, Carmel Valley and Carmel Highlands.

REALTOR® and MLS Challenges:

The greatest challenge to real estate professionals with CBTS is consistency. Because the city may or may not show up in an intended search, CMAs, statistics, agent search and all IDX vendor services can be negatively impacted. CBTS listings can be lost to potential buyers and opportunities diminished for sellers in the highly specific CBTS search fields.

The Proposal:

At the behest of the Monterey County Association of REALTORS® Super Users and Review Group, (SURG), MLSListings is working toward the implementation of a removal of CBTS as a search field to include it within the broader classification of Carmel. This means, all history and property details would fall under the Carmel umbrella. No information would be lost, only reclassified.

Over the past few years the vast majority of listing agents chose to classify their CBTS listings as Carmel, consequently undermining the CBTS classification.

The Repercussions:

As it stands today, agents have to search in both Carmel and CBTS in order to obtain a comprehensive list of properties available for sale in CBTS. Our goal is to simplify the search process for both agents and the public.

The removal of CBTS carries the requirement for agents to list under Carmel. Forms, histories and all records would move to Carmel. Essentially, all CBTS properties current and past, will be renamed, Carmel. CBTS will no longer be searchable in the system.

The wider net would provide an inclusive and consistent search environment for brokers and agents. The marketing panache of CBTS would have to appear in remarks or in other selling collateral. Or you could search the four MLS areas currently within CBTS as these will not be going away, or search by Zip Code.

As with most technology updates on a larger scale, an adjustment period, additional education, training and mass communications to those in the area would be required.

The change would usher in some controversy; however, the SURG members feel this long term change will improve accuracy in listings and search for the area.

Carmel-By-The-Sea Removal Q&A

Question: I understand that Carmel By the Sea will no longer be a city selection option for entering properties. I have some questions.


Q: What happens to my listing which designates Carmel by the Sea as its city?

A: When the system is updated to remove Carmel by the Sea as a City, those listings will retain their current CBTS Zip Code but the city name will be changed to Carmel.


Q: What will happen to all of the history records that have Carmel by the Sea as their city?

A: In order for the change to be consistent, all history records that have used the City name “Carmel By The Sea” and/or the Zip Code for it will have their City name changed to “Carmel”. They will retain the CBTS Zip Code.


Q: How will this impact property searches for listings now labeled as Carmel by the Sea?

A: After the change, you will be able to search for listings in the four designated areas of Carmel By the Sea or by using the Carmel By the Sea Zip Code (93921).


Q: What is the benefit of removing CBTS as a City?

A: The benefit is to provide greater consistency in statistics, market analysis, and every day searches, eliminating the redundancy of property searches in both cities.


Q: If my client still wants to market their listing as a CBTS listing, how can we do that?

A: Listing agents and brokers can still market the listing as a CBTS listing by including a comment in the Public and Private Remarks field.


Q: What does this mean for listings that are distributed to public sites like Zillow?

A: When an external vendor receives an update from MLSListings after the change, listings that had CBTS as the city will now have Carmel.


Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or comments you may have regarding this change as your feedback is certainly welcome.