Arizona gives go-ahead to Zillow

Arizona gives go-ahead to Zillow

Zillow.com, the popular real estate Web site, is in the clear for offering its home-value estimates in Arizona.

Earlier this week, Gov. Janet Napolitano signed into law Senate Bill 1291, with an amendment that allows Zillow to operate in the state.

The Arizona Board of Appraisal a year ago ordered Seattle-based Zillow to stop offering its property estimates because it does not have an Arizona appraiser’s license. advertisement 
 
Zillow President Lloyd Frink praised Reps. Michele Reagan and Barbara Leff for pushing the amendment that allows Zillow and other firms that offer automated valuation models to continue operating in Arizona.

“We believe attempts to limit or restrict access to this information are not in the best interest of consumers anywhere,” Frink wrote in his Zillow blog.

Zillow, which was launched in February 2006, warns users that its estimates are not an appraisal but a starting point to determine a home’s value.

Charles Havranek, Board of Appraisal vice chairman, said the board at its June 21 meeting voted 6-1 to rescind its two previous letters ordering Zillow to cease and desist.

“What Zillow does is give consumers a basic idea of where to start if they need to know what their house is worth,” said Havranek, an Arizona appraiser since 1975.

He was not on the board a year ago when it took action against Zillow.

The legislation that the governor signed Monday updated statutes affecting the Board of Appraisal that have not been revised since 1991.

Peter Corbett
The Arizona Republic

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