Finance Blog

Stay financially savvy with the Equifax Advisor.

Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter


Thank you for signing up for the FREE Equifax monthly newsletter

In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.

Understand your credit. Help protect your identity.

Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Know What May Influence Your Credit Score and Be Alerted of Changes
    Credit score monitoring with custom alerts
    Important Disclosure: The Equifax credit score and 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax credit score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.¹
  • Help Protect Your Identity
    Automatic fraud alerts encourages lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity²
  • Lock Your Credit
    The ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report³
Save 75% your first 30 days with the purchase of Equifax Complete™ Premier

$4.95 for the first 30 days, then $19.95 per month thereafter. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.4

¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.

²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.

³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.

4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.

Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

Buying a Home? How to be a Confident Home Buyer

Written by Steve Cook on May 13, 2015 in Real Estate  |   No comments

You’ve finally found the home you’ve been looking for and you’re ready to make an offer. But how you can you be sure that you’re getting a good deal? When you buy a home, every penny you can save on the purchase price will help…

Buying a Home How to be a Confident Home Buyer-2You’ve finally found the home you’ve been looking for and you’re ready to make an offer. But how you can you be sure that you’re getting a good deal? When you buy a home, every penny you can save on the purchase price will help you with closing costs, redecorating, and moving.

The trick to buying a home at the best price is negotiating, and the key to negotiating is research. When you have an accurate idea of the property value, the seller’s options, and the near-term character of your local market, you know what you’re up against.

Before you make an offer, you’ll also want to get a sense of what you can afford. Meet with a lender, who will be able tell you whether you’ll be approved for a mortgage and at what interest rate.

Accurately value the property

Once you know how much you can afford, it’s time to make an offer and start negotiating.

The seller may have set the listing price high to allow for some negotiating room, or may simply think the house is worth more than it really is. To get an idea of what the home is actually worth, ask your agent for a competitive market analysis (CMA) of the home. It will incorporate comparable recent sales (sometimes referred to as “comps”), a history of the home’s previous valuations, and analysis of its current value based on the local market.

Local supply and demand will also impact what the house is worth—and how much the seller is willing to negotiate. Low inventories and inflated home prices may make the seller less likely to negotiate on price, while a decrease in demand and home values may have the opposite effect.

Do your research on the seller

The seller’s personal situation can provide valuable information you can use to negotiate the purchase of a home. Why are they selling? Is it for a new job? Do they have children who need to be settled in a new school by August? Is the home owned by a divorcing couple that is eager to move? Is the seller in a position where he or she can’t pay the mortgage?

Your agent can find out a lot from their agent, and an hour or so on social media can tell you a great deal about your sellers. You may want to determine how long the home has been listed, or if it was previously listed and removed. Has there been a price reduction? Have there been previous offers and, if so, what happened to those?

The seller’s counter offer will reveal how serious they are about selling to you. If it is too high to merit a response right away, you may want to wait it out, keep in touch, and let the market take its course before you counter. You risk losing the house, but the seller has greater worries. They might risk losing a whole selling season and have to start again in a year.

In your negotiations, don’t forget the personal touches. Write a letter that tells the owners how much you love their house and how you’ll take good care of it. Your real estate agent can present this letter with your offer.

During the negotiating process, use to your advantage any information that is uncovered in the home inspection. It’s likely your inspector will have a list of issues that need to be addressed, and you can either ask that these be dealt with before closing, or that you receive a credit for the cost of the repairs.

Steve Cook is editor of Real Estate Economy Watch and covers real estate and mortgage finance for leading news sites.  He is a member of the board of the National Association of Real Estate Editors. Twice he was named one of the 100 most influential people in real estate. Cook was vice president for public affairs for the National Association of Realtors.

The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.

No comments yet

Leave a Comment

Name :

Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Real Estate Archive