4 Tips to Consider for Black Friday Shopping

Nov 24, 2017 by

For better or worse, the American Thanksgiving tradition now includes a midnight run to the nearest department store or electronics retailer in the hopes of nabbing the ultimate Black Friday deal. But before you join the masses in this shopping madness, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises doing the following to make sure the deal you worked so hard for doesn’t turn into a disaster.

  1. Is the discount really a discount? Make sure that the price wasn’t inflated before the store offered a percentage off. For example, if there is 20 percent off the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), that’s not much of a deal. The MSRP is a much higher price than what the store would normally sell the product for.
  2. Read the fine print. Some Black Friday sale items may only be available in limited quantities or during specific hours. In other words, you may need to line up before the store opens to even have a chance of scoring that deal.
  3. Be aware of the return policy. Before you purchase, make sure you’re able to return the sale item if it turns out not to be what you wanted or if you find it cheaper somewhere else.
  4. Be safe online. Lots of Black Friday deals are offered online as well. Be sure to pay with a credit card as opposed to your debit card – your credit card is protected in case of fraudulent activity, whereas your bank account is at risk when using your debit card – and look for the padlock icon in the browser to make sure you’re on a secure site.

Finally, the BBB reminds us that there are many holiday shopping deals to be had beyond Black Friday. Consider Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday, as well as local craft and gift fairs. Of course, the best way to avoid overspending this holiday season is to create a budget, make a list and stick to it. Remember, the most thoughtful gifts usually don’t come with high price tags…or any price tag at all.

I hope you enjoyed these tips. Contact me today for any of your real estate needs!

The post 4 Tips to Consider for Black Friday Shopping appeared first on RISMedia.


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Get Shopping! Black Friday Deals for the Home

Nov 21, 2016 by

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Are you looking for a bargain this Black Friday with home goods? Deals on household products and appliances are abundant this season. Need to add to your staging inventory or looking for that perfect housewarming gift for your clients? Peruse the ads to spot the best deals. has posted the ads for numerous retailers, from Target, Lowe’s, and more. offers some shopping tips for those in search of some of the best home good offers.  or housewarming gifts for clients during the week of Black Friday, including:

Go after small appliances for the kitchen: Some products – like toasters, kettles, pressure cookers, and more — may drop as low as $ 3. Look for such deals and their sitewide coupons at mega department stores like Kohl’s, Kmart, and Bon-Ton, according to

Scan sales on major appliances: If your clients are planning a kitchen remodel, they may want to act this week on big appliances. Stores generally offer up their best deals of the year for washing machines, refrigerators, and other household essentials during Black Friday week. Look for dishwashers as low as $ 250 from some retailers. Sears Outlet often carries some of the best appliance sales of the season, along with free sitewide shipping.

Stock up on cheap tools: Black Friday week may also be the best time to stock up on tools. Power saws may start at $ 20 and drills from $ 55. Check out major department stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot to snag some of the best tool deals.

Hunt for household goods: To outfit your home, suggests checking out Sear’s for cheap bedding offers and Kohl’s and JCPenney’s for more dinnerware and bedding deals.

Styled, Staged & SoldStyled, Staged & Sold

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Why Mortgage Rate Shopping Can Be Perilous

Nov 16, 2016 by

(3 minute read) Shutterstock As far back as when the first mortgage loans were used to buy caves, cave men and cave women made cave lender decisions based mostly on whoever quoted the lowest cave loan interest rates. And back then, access to information is not like it is today with real […]
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Preapproved for a Loan? Don’t Blow It With Holiday Shopping

Nov 28, 2015 by

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By Kayla Albert

After receiving the preapproval on your home loan — the anxiously awaited first big step toward homeownership — you likely breathed a sigh of relief that the official “proving yourself” part of the process was over.

Not so fast, if you’re searching for a home during the holidays.

Before you get swept up in the tide of frantic holiday shopping, it’s important to know that going overboard on gifts for friends and family can impact the total loan amount you’re ultimately approved for, and it could even kill the approval entirely.

Here are a few ways you can ensure you make it all the way from preapproval to purchase with no hiccups en route.

1. Don’t apply for new credit or rack up new debt.

When you reach the cash register with your arms full of holiday gifts, it’s easy to entertain the idea of opening a store credit card. Just fill out the application, add your John Hancock, and you could be walking away with a significant amount off your total purchase.

However, opening this line of credit requires a hard credit inquiry — one that could ding your credit in the process. In addition, you could impact your debt-to-income ratio or signal to the lender that you are a greater risk than they previously thought.

Tammi Robson, a mortgage broker at Metro Lenders in Denver, tells her clients about the importance of being debt-free or keeping debt levels stable during the home-buying process. This means avoiding major purchases such as a car or that new dining-room set until the entire home-buying process is complete.

“Most lenders do ‘debt monitoring’ during the loan process, meaning they pull internal credit reports,” Robson says. “If new debt shows up or credit scores go down, it will affect loan qualification.”

2. Don’t move around large amounts of money.

While constantly shuttling funds back and forth might be how you manage your money, it can create a huge headache for lenders, who must be able to track the movement of funds from account to account. If they cannot track the funds, the money movement could appear suspicious — a red flag signaling undocumented funds or money troubles they hadn’t seen before.

In addition, if your family is all about doling out the cash for the holidays, you could be putting yourself in a precarious position. Lenders will also be scouring your accounts for any unusual deposits — those that are 50 percent or more of your monthly income — or any unusual cash withdrawals. These will need to be thoroughly explained to maintain your approved status.

It’s all about keeping the status quo between preapproval and closing — something that can be more challenging during the holiday season.

3. Don’t ignore your bills.

A recent study by Neighborworks determined that one in three American adults has no savings on hand. Pair this with an expected holiday spending rate of $ 805 per person, and it’s no wonder bills become a heavy burden to bear come January.

Unfortunately, even if your holiday spending gets out of hand, loan preapproval isn’t a pass to be less diligent about maintaining a spot-free bill payment history. In fact, it’s more important than ever to make sure all bills are paid on time and in full.

Payment history makes up 30 percent of your credit score, and even one late payment can have devastating effects. How much exactly? According to, if your payment is over 30 days late (the typical grace period given by lenders), it could lower your score anywhere from 60 to 110 points — a substantial amount even if you’re starting with a high score.

If that late payment is on an existing mortgage, a lender could opt to deny your loan altogether. Even if it’s not a complete denial, you’ll need to explain in writing why the late payment occurred.

Here’s the bottom line.

If you’ve been preapproved for a mortgage, you’ve successfully cleared one substantial hurdle — a bank or lender has looked at your overall financial health and stamped you as a qualified candidate.

But preapproval is not the same as approval, and now, as holiday sales are calling, it’s important to keep the finish line in sight. After all, you wouldn’t want a few financial missteps to make your dream of homeownership come to a crashing halt.


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Insider Information For Shopping Mortgage Rates

Nov 22, 2015 by

Mortgage consumers standing on the threshold of their mortgage lender leap-of-faith decision, would do well to holster two strategic pieces of information to gain an advantage in their lender shopping quest. Knowing who is on the other team and what the game rules are can go a long way towards […]
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