Michael Tarleton has been a part of the local real estate scene for close to two decades.
With his 60th birthday just behind him, he has decided to take a break and embark on fresh ventures.
His retirement also spells the closure of McNeill’s Real Estate, one of Macksville’s institutions, which has served the community since 1911 and was bought by Michael from the late Mike Moran in 2006.
“I’ve been working in real estate for the last 17 years … now it is time for a break and then I will look at some new, real-estate related, business ideas,” Michael said.
“When I first started selling here, the average house price was $130,000.
“Then there were the booms of 2000 and 2003 that saw big price jumps, in some cases, prices doubled practically overnight.
“Now the average price is around $300,000.
“That price has been pretty steady over the last few years ... things seem to be starting to move again but I don’t think it will boom like it did back then.”
Michael moved here with his family in 1990, operating the Golden Emblem Motel (opposite what is now Woolworths) and then the Ridgey Didge Coffee Shop.
When he turned his hand to real estate, he worked with most of the local agents, such as Ray White, Elders and Century 21, before running his own show at McNeills.
“My wife grew up here … it really is the best place in the world to live.
“I think the highway bypass will really benefit Macksville – the council and community groups have done a lot of work beautifying the town.
“Once the trucks are out, it will be a lovely place to come to.”
Reflecting on his real estate career, Michael said the buzz always came from putting people into a home that suited them.
“Even after 17 years, I enjoy the feeling that every single sale is helping someone achieve their dreams.
“Of course the bigger the sale, the bigger the buzz – those places over $1 million were rare but very exciting when they landed.”
Michael said he firmly believes there is still money to be made in real estate in the shire and he will be looking at becoming a buyers agent.
“There are more and more people from out of town looking to invest in the area, so I can help them find what they want.
“With so much real estate internet-based now, I can operate from home, part-time and at my own pace.
“Plus there are none of the overheads such as staff and rent.”
Michael confirmed that the real estate business of McNeills had been purchased by LJ Hooker.