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Price It Right: 3 Scripts to Guide Sellers Away from Overpricing Pitfalls

March 26 2024

listing presentation clientsHave sellers who are intent on overpricing their home? There's an ancient communication hack you can use to steer sellers towards a more reasonable price point.

When we say "ancient," we mean it! The Socratic method, created by ancient Greek philosopher Socrates, is a way to discuss topics by asking questions rather than telling or instructing the other party what to do. This is effective in pricing discussions because it moves sellers away from an emotional frame of mind to a more logical one. And, importantly, it helps sellers persuade themselves toward a more reasonable price — and it avoids making them feel like you're telling them what to do.

By asking questions and having them rationalize their pricing motivations, you can guide them to see the potential pitfalls themselves. The key is using questions, examples and letting them arrive at the more reasonable pricing conclusion through their own logic.

To help you understand what a pricing discussion using the Socratic method looks like, here are a few sample scripts.

Seller Objection: "My house has valuable upgrades"

You: I understand you want to list your home at [proposed price]. Can you help me understand your thought process behind that decision?

Client: I think my home is worth more than comparable homes in the area because it has been updated and is in great condition.

You: That's a fair point. Can you tell me more about the specific updates and condition? How do they compare to similar homes on the market?

Client: Well, we updated the kitchen with new countertops and appliances a few years ago...

You: Those updates do add value. Have you looked at what other homes with updated kitchens have listed and sold for recently? How does your asking price compare?

Client: Not specifically, but I'm sure ours is nicer.

You: Let's take a look at some examples to compare. What do you think might happen if we price your home significantly higher than similar recently sold properties?

Client: I suppose it might sit on the market longer...

You: Exactly. And what are some potential downsides of a listing going stale?

Client: Buyers might wonder what's wrong with it and make lower offers.

You: That's true! Overpricing can make it harder to generate interest and get a strong offer. What are your priorities — a higher price or a quicker sale?

Seller Objection: "I want to maximize our ROI on our home"

You: What factors are most important to you in pricing your home?

Client: Getting the highest possible price. This is our biggest investment.

You: I understand wanting to maximize your return. What concerns might you have about overpricing though?

Client: Well, I don't want it to sit on the market forever.

You: Right, going too high can deter buyers. What have you noticed about how long overpriced homes in our area tend to stay listed?

Client: Several months at least from what I've seen.

You: Exactly. And opportunity costs come into play too when a home lingers. What kinds of costs are we talking about?

Client: Carrying costs like the mortgage, utilities, maintenance…

You: Yes. So finding the highest price a qualified buyer will actually pay could make more sense financially. How might we analyze recent sales to find that sweet spot?

Seller Objection: "I want to keep up with the Joneses"

You: I know you have X price in mind for listing your home. What is your goal in setting that price?

Client: I want to get a price 15% higher than the neighbors sold for last year.

You: I see. What has changed about your home or the market conditions that leads you to value it that much higher?

Client: Well, not much besides the neighbors selling when prices were lower.

You: Understood. Buyers will be looking at very recent comparable sales though. If other similar homes seem undervalued compared to yours, what could happen?

Client: Buyers might favor those other listings and ours could get passed over.

You: Potentially, yes. What are some risks if we overpriced and it doesn't sell quickly?

Client: It could hurt our negotiating position later if we have to keep dropping the price.

You: Those are excellent points. How can we analyze trends to find the optimal list price and position your home strongly?


  1. Be agreeable and allow the seller to express their opinion.

  2. Embrace silence as a tactic to allow the seller to express their thoughts fully.

  3. Self-persuasion is key to guide sellers to the right pricing strategy. The Socratic method lets them feel they're coming to the desired conclusion on their own.

  4. Lean on data to help persuade sellers. RPR's Refine Value Tool lets you take home upgrades into account when determining price.

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