Software Nerd

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Arizona tries to protect monopoly power of Appraisers

A while ago, I mentioned Zillow.com, an interesting web-site that gathers public-record data on house prices and displays them in a very convenient Google-maps format. Enter an address and it shows a map, at a scale where you can see houses, each labelled with a price. The price label is an estimate, apparently based on the publicly-available actual sales prices of nearby homes. At least for my neighborhood, the prices appear to be pretty good estimates.

All sounds good so far? Well, turns out the government does not think so. The government of the people's state of Arizona wants to protect it's citizens from Zillow -- believe it or not. They say:

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.

HT: Freakonomics Blog

1 Comments:

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    By Blogger Anuja, at 9:50 PM  

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