Know Your Counterpart

Know thyself.

–Greek aphorism

Know the other Realtor.

–Real estate aphorism

To prepare for this Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, Vikings Coach Brad Childress and his staff will pore over hours of game film, studying their opponent’s strengths, weaknesses, tendencies, etc.

Is there anything analogous in real estate?


When I’m in a deal with a Realtor I don’t know, I’ll look up their MLS ID number, and do a search to find out everything I can.

What do I look for?

Mostly, how many deals they’ve done, but also where, at what price point(s), and if they seem to specialize in a certain kind of property.

The answers to those questions give me a better sense of who I’m dealing with — and what negotiating strategies are likely to be most effective.

P.S.: sometimes, you search an agent ID, and someone you’ve never heard of turns out to have handled a couple hundred deals.

Other times, someone holding themselves out as an expert (“Experienced Short Sale Agent“) has done a grand total of 6-8 — or no — deals.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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