Arizona legislation that offers licensing exemptions for property-valuation Web sites is expected to receive final approval today from the state House of Representatives — the last stop before the governor’s office.
The bill would specifically exempt any “Internet Web site, automated valuation or other software program or other means of comparative market analysis” from appraiser licensing requirements in the state when they provide estimated real estate values, as long as there is disclosure “that the estimate is not an appraisal,” the bill text states.
Barrett Marson, a spokesman for Arizona House Republicans, said the House is expected to pass Senate Bill 1291 in a final reading scheduled today. The bill was approved in a final reading by the state Senate in a 28-0 vote Monday, with two members not voting.
The legislation contains other provisions that relate to appraiser licensing requirements and the Arizona Board of Appraisal. The bill is timely given clashes between the appraisal board with home-valuation and property marketing site Zillow.com over state licensing requirements.
Zillow officials received letters from the appraisal board in July 2006 and November 2006 requesting that Zillow “cease and desist from all appraisal activities in the state … until such time as they are performed by a licensed or certified appraiser in this state. If you fail to comply with the board’s request to cease and desist from these activities, the board will have no option but to pursue injunctive relief.”
While there are many Web sites that offer home-valuation estimates, Zillow is reportedly the only automated home-valuation Web site to receive cease-and-desist requests from the appraisal board, and company officials said the company has not received any similar requests in other states.
Representatives for Zillow and the appraisal board have discussed the issue and Zillow continues to offer home-value estimates in Arizona. Company officials have noted that the Zillow Web site does state that the company’s value estimate, called a Zestimate, “is not an appraisal and you won’t be able to use it in place of an appraisal.”
SB 1291 had earlier hit a snag when it failed to receive a required two-thirds majority to pass in the House, though it was revived by state Rep. Bob Stump, R-Peoria, who passed a motion to reconsider the legislation on April 30.
The amendment that extends the appraiser licensing exemption to Web sites was introduced by state Rep. Michele Reagan, R-Scottsdale.