From today’s Arizona Republic:
An Arizona regulatory board has ordered Zillow.com to stop offering its online estimates of home values.
The Arizona Board of Appraisal has issued two cease and desist letters to the popular real estate Web site, claiming Zillow needs an appraiser license to offer its “zestimates” in Arizona.
“It is the board’s feeling that (Zillow) is providing an appraisal,” said Deborah Pearson, Board of Appraisal executive director.
This is just plain idiotic and asinine.
Have cease and desist letters also been delivered to Coldwell Banker, Bank of America, Domaina (Lending Tree), Devenio, National Property Value, Homegain, Home Appraisals USA, RealEstate.com, or any of the other similar sites offering automated valuations that are scattered all over the Internet?
Have cease and desist letters been delivered to all of the 47,675 licensed real estate agents and brokers in the Phoenix area? I’m assuming they all offer free CMAs (Comparative Market Analysis). Let’s be ridiculously generous to the Arizona Board of Appraisal and assume only a fourth of the licensed agents offer such a service (and I’m certain it’s significantly more).
Two cease and desist letters down, 11,989 to go.
Sites that provide Automated Valuation Methods (AVMs) and agents that provide CMAs aren’t doing appraisals. I guess the AZ Board of Appraisal and/or their members see it differently and feel threatened.
“We have responded to the letters from the Arizona Board of Appraisal and hope to engage in a productive dialogue with them,” said Amy Bohutinsky, Zillow director of communications.
Good luck Zillow. You are obviously dealing with people that are clueless, and dare I say, stupid. “Productive dialog” is difficult to engage in with people of this intelligence level. After all, we’re talking about a governmental body whose home page highlights a copy of their newsletter — from June of 2006.
If you need an Arizona agent to “testify” for you, you know where to find me…