Nanny State: Arizona bars online home price estimator

16 April 2007

Arizona bars online home price estimator


PHOENIX -- Arizona regulators have ordered a Seattle-based online home price estimator to stop doing business in the state.

The Arizona Board of Appraisal issued two cease-and-desist letters to the company that operates the popular real estate Web site Zillow, saying it needs an appraiser license to offer its "zestimates" in Arizona.

"It is the board's feeling that (Zillow) is providing an appraisal," Deborah Pearson, the board's executive director, said Friday.

Zillow warns users the estimates it provides are not a definitive value but a starting point for consumers. Launched in February, 2006, the company claims it has 4 million users a month, including people wanting to how much their homes - or their neighbors' homes - are worth.

The site has been criticized by real estate professionals and others concerned about its accuracy.


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