14 April 2007

Have cease and desist letters also been delivered to any of the other similar sites offering automated valuations that are scattered all over the Internet?

Zillow.com is a neat tool, that allows one to punch in a home address, and get a map that shows home estimates plus flag indicators of recent sale prices. Granted, there is an algorithm employed that by no means is 100% accurate, but it's a ballpark figure that's closer to the mark than a random wild ass guest-imate would be. However some individuals are incensed over its existence and want to ban it.
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.

Seattle-based Zillow cautions users that its information is a starting point for consumers, not a definitive value. It has been popular since its launch in February 2006. It claims 4 million users a month, including those curious about their home's value, and the value of friends' and neighbors' residences.

Let me get this straight somebody creates an algorithm to calculate market worth for a home is an act heinous enough to be referred to the Arizona Attorney General's office for criminal violations.

As this guy puts it, this is just plain idiotic and asinine.

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