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.

How to Find a Great Real Estate Agent

Written by Ilyce Glink on June 11, 2010 in Real Estate  |   6 comments

I’m often asked how to find a great real estate agent. The answer couldn’t be simpler: Use the six steps I outline below and you’re sure to a great real estate agent to assist you with buying or selling your next property. But let me…

Real estate agent search-finding the right personI’m often asked how to find a great real estate agent. The answer couldn’t be simpler: Use the six steps I outline below and you’re sure to a great real estate agent to assist you with buying or selling your next property.

But let me first explain why I think every home buyer and most home sellers should use an agent.

My mother, Susanne Glink, has been a top real estate agent in Chicago for nearly thirty years. She has seen the same single-family houses, condos, co-ops, and townhomes come on and off the market many times over those years. She has watched properties get fixed up, torn down, rebuilt, and renovated. She has also watched not-so-nice neighborhoods be transformed into lovely family-centric communities.

The expertise my mother (who in an average year closes twenty to thirty transaction sides) has developed is hugely valuable. The fact that she has done well, year over year, in a business that rewards its hardest, most innovative workers, is a testament to the value she and other top agents bring to the table. Their clients do well because they have a great agent guiding them, helping them understand what “true worth” is in their neighborhood of choice.

But I understand how a home buyer might imagine he or she doesn’t need any expert help. The Internet is filled with millions of real estate-related websites. There are listing sites, mortgage sites, home-valuation sites, and mapping sites that show you everything from school district boundaries to the location of the nearest Starbucks.

You can see photos and videos of homes for sale. You can play with interactive floor plans and read reviews of homes by folks who visit open houses. You can look up tax bills and liens filed against the property and search out any news that includes the house address.

The only things you can’t get on the Internet are perspective and the experience of working with hundreds of buyers and sellers over the years. That’s what a great real estate agent has to offer.

So how do you find a great real estate agent? It isn’t all that difficult. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Ask your friends. If you have friends who have recently bought or sold a property in your neighborhood of choice, ask them if they had a good experience with their agent. Ask them to be honest about the agent’s performance and what they’d change about the working relationship.
  2. Find out who works regularly in your neighborhood. Sellers often say (with dismay) that open houses are a way for their listing agent to get new clients. But it’s true. So visit local open houses and meet the listing agents. Chat with them generally about the property and their experience.
  3. Call your local association of Realtors. Realtors are real estate agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Each local association recognizes the top agents each year based on total number of sales and dollar volume. Get hold of this list and find out which of the top twenty or thirty agents work in your area.
  4. Interview a variety of agents. You’ll want to talk with someone from each of the biggest real estate firms that work regularly in your neighborhood of choice. Don’t have a name? Contact the managing broker of the firm and set up an appointment to chat about what you’re looking for.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask the agents for a résumé. Ask for contact information for past or current clients so you can follow up with questions about how the agent works. Ask if the agent is full-time and has at least five years in the business. Ask about the price range and specific neighborhoods the agent works in regularly. And be sure to ask who the agent’s typical buyers and sellers are so you can find a good fit.
  6. Do your homework. After you’ve asked all your questions, go back to the Internet to check the agents’ reputations. Search each agent’s name, address, and firm to see what comes up.

Remember to get back to the agents you don’t select to let them know you’ve opted to go with someone else. You never know who might be the listing agent of the property you fall in love with down the line.

Ilyce R. Glink is the author of several books, including 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and Buy, Close, Move In!. She blogs about money and real estate at ThinkGlink.com and at the Home Equity blog for CBS MoneyWatch.

Read More.

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.


  1. Atlanta Real Estate says:

    For a seller an experienced agent will have a written marketing plan such as http://www.mackperryhomes.com/sellers/atlanta-home-marketing-plan/. This will detail everything that the agent will do to market the sellers home. For buyers the experienced agent will have a similar written document like the Atlanta Home Buyer Services Plan as outlined on this page…http://www.mackperryhomes.com/buyer-information/buyer-agency/.

  2. Ilyce Glink says:


    Thanks for your comment. I agree that having a written marketing plan is key. But, you'll want to invite three different agents in and tell them you expect them to provide a comparative marketing analysis – one component of which is the home marketing plan. You also want to know about comps in the area and the agent's suggested list price (and his or her reason for pricing the property that way).

  3. luciyahelan says:

    Thanks for your comment. I agree that having a written marketing plan is key. But, you'll want to invite three different agents in and tell them you expect them to provide a comparative marketing analysis – one component of which is the home marketing plan. You also want to know about comps in the area and the agent's suggested list price (and his or her reason for pricing the property that way).

  4. Ilyce Glink says:


    A comparative marketing analysis (also referred to as a CMA) is a great way to figure out which agent has the best take on your property and will do the best job selling it.

    Thanks for your comment and suggestion.

  5. Admin says:

    I found your article to be nice and informative. I would like to put forward my views. I think searching for real estate agents in newspapers is a good move. There are various reasons why an agent gives out ads in local newspapers. The first purpose is selling of specific real estate and the second is promotion of the real estate agent. Additionally one can also ask real estate experts to refer to agents who meet the specific needs. Experts have a first knowledge about real estate market trends and agents who are doing a good job and therefore can suggest you someone who is sincere and honest. For more information, visit http://www.revealty.com.

  6. Michael says:

    All-around useful tips here, I just want to start by thanking everyone who has taken the time to chime in and to share their expertise. That’s what I love about the Internet, experts coming together to help eachother improve their craft. Real Estate is an art, and we’re all the artists. The homes of our buyers and sellers are the canvases. Let’s make a masterpiece 🙂

    Yours truly,
    Michael W.

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