John Rice - Tate & Foss - Sotheby's John Rice

Welcome to John Rice Realtor


Achieving success together...


Last year at this time, we were bemoaning a "cooling in the pace" of our real estate market as defined by the 13 Sample Seacoast Towns. Those towns are Exeter, Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, New Castle, Newfields, Newington, North Hampton, Newmarket, Portsmouth, Rye, Seabrook and Stratham.


As they say, what a difference a year makes. Except for a slight hiccup in February, the first six months of 2019 have witnessed an "old fashioned real estate rally." Since March, the month over month total has improved. Since April, those monthly totals have exceeded the year before, leaving the single-family market up 10.3% as of June 30 with a median sale price of $450,000 up 6.7%.


We saw a record monthly median sale price of $586,750 in January and record sales volume in the $400-$700,000 price range in June. All this against a background of inventory shrunk to levels at times as much as 39% below where they were four years ago. For sure, more and more properties are sold without hitting the open market as Realtors scrambled to "dig out" product for their buyers.


Condominium sales have improved by modest increments every month so far. Yet total volume lags 11.2% behind 2018. Median prices had increased every month until a $6,400 decline in June left the six-month median at $339,900-up 7.2% for the year.

Flying under the radar was the spectacular performance of the single-family high-end market. This price point set a six-month January-June modern record with 31 transactions in excess of $1 million, five more than last year and one more than 2017. What better indice of consumer confidence in the local real estate product could there be?


Helping you achieve your success is my business and in this era of multiple offers, this can be tricky. This is particularly so when sale price out-distances appraised value. As a former appraiser, I work with sellers to place realistic prices on their homes. After the sale, I work with appraisers to help them do their job and "make the deal work."

Sometimes there is success to be had from failure. Recently, I was unable to convince an appraiser that the value was actually there in a home that had sold for $20,000 more than ask price. In fact, the appraiser came in $70,000 less than sale price.

Acting quickly and logically, I was able to use 47-years of negotiating experience to help the seller to accept an offer that represented a $25,000 discount. But logically that price was almost full-price anyway. In turn, I convinced the buyer to come up $40,000 from appraised value because he knew the value was really there. After all, we had several other offers that were for way more than appraised value. It was a win-win situation and everyone achieved success.

Things really do happen in real estate and it takes experience to meet the challenges and win success. A recent sale of multiple river view properties is a case in point. These multi-million dollar properties had been referred to me by a prestigious state-wide law firm. I had a huge responsibility to "get it right."

But from the start, an almost daily parade of serious problems confronted us. Neighbors were encroaching. The property lines were vague. In fact the town changed its perception of where they were several months into the process. And this was after we had the property under agreement! There was mold. There was radon and there were FEMA flood zone changes. There were land use boards to work with. In fact we had a difficult time proving where city water and sewer lines were. Or if they existed at all! (They did!) Town water and sewer is critical to the development of a non-conforming--but legal-building lot.

Remarkably, the property closed. "Congratulations on this epic sale," Ned Tate wrote on a sticky note he attached to my commission check. "Your persistence and professional prowess has resulted in an event not otherwise possible. Only a select few could have made this happen."

Achieving your success together takes an agent with skills that transcend and set me apart from other competent professionals. For me, those skills begin with being one of the very few agents who holds a Masters of Education in Counselor Education. I actually do make a serious attempt to "hear what you are saying."

Once a professional writer, I work seamlessly with the Tate and Foss Sotheby's marketing team to produce compelling marketing pieces and effective sales campaigns.

And, of course, having a former appraiser's mindset helps me to help clients understand the subtleties of determining actual value. In fact several homeowners have enlisted me to help them fight unfair town assessments over the past several years.

Finally, forty-seven years in real estate is a long time. You learn countless invaluable skills along the way. Some are obvious and some are just intuitive. I hope to put those skills to work for you soon. Let's achieve success together!

-John Rice, Broker, New Hampshire and Maine







© 2020 John Rice . All Rights Reserved