Conspiracy theorists are taken aback by the news that Realtors are supporting Zillow in their fight to keep Arizona from banning it from us poor Grand Canyon State saps.
A state agency’s efforts to stop Zillow .com from offering property-value estimates in Arizona are drawing criticism from some Realtors who think regulators are overstepping their authority.
The critics also are targeting an Arizona Board of Appraisal reform bill they fear will muzzle anyone from offering an opinion about property values unless he or she is a licensed appraiser, Realtor or attorney.
Phoenix real estate broker Greg Swann said that the legislation, Senate Bill 1291, is narrowly written to block Zillow from offering its estimates. It also could affect other online services from offering property-value estimates using what are called automated valuation models, he said. “This is legislation to stop progress,” said Swann, adding that state regulators are being Luddites in trying to halt the advance of Internet commerce.
Of course there are claims that this isn’t a Zillow bill:
The Arizona House is expected to consider the bill on Monday, said Deborah Pearson, director of Arizona Board of Appraisal.
The legislation is not aimed at Zillow but rather is intended to update statutes that have not changed since 1991, Pearson said. The Board of Appraisals has not found any other online entities that are violating the state law, said Pearson, the board’s director.
I’m guessing that they Board of Appraisals must be needing their eyes check if they can only claim that Zillow is in violation.
For fun you can read the whole Senate Bill 1291 and see what this fuss is about, specifically:
“Appraisal” or “real estate appraisal” means a statement independently and impartially prepared by an individual setting forth an opinion as to the market value of real property as of a specific date and supported by the presentation and analysis of relevant market information any of the following:
(a) the act or process of developing an opinion of value. (b) An opinion of value. (c) Pertaining to appraising and related functions such as appraisal practice or appraisal services.
I believe such a change to the Arizona Revised Statutes would mean that I would be in violation if I told my neighbors how much their house might be worth. Slippery slope if you ask me!