Richard McCulloch pictured with staff from McCulloch Estate Agents.
McCulloch Estate Agents, based in Magherafelt, offers a full range of property services from sales, lettings and valuations to property management, commercial leases and Energy Performance certificates.
Established in 2016 by Richard McCulloch, the firm continues to go from strength-to-strength and now employs three additional staff.
For Richard however, his career in property began almost two decades ago.
“I'm your typical family man with a very supportive wife and two kids who allow me to work late into the evenings when it is required,” he told the County Derry Post.
“I started my career at Ulster Property Sales in Belfast after graduating from university. That was nearly 20 years ago when I started as a junior sales negotiator. As I rose through the company to sales manager I had the opportunity to go into partnership with an old school friend who was planning on opening an estate agency in Magherafelt where I grew up.
“We opened the office in October 2010 but after a few years my business partner got the opportunity to move abroad with his family so I took over the business and eventually rebranded it to my family name. That is how McCulloch Estate Agents came to be in early 2016.”
McCulloch Estate Agents is a one-stop shop for all your property needs, whether you are selling or buying a property.
“We offer the full range of property services from sales, lettings, valuations, property management, commercial leases and Energy Performance certificates (required for selling or letting),” continued Richard.
“We often carry out formal valuations for the purposes of marital disputes and probate, when someone passes away and their property is to be passed down to someone else.”
For those thinking of selling their property, Richard has the following advice.
“Present your property in a way that will show off its features and make it more appealing to buyers. Try and de-clutter while packing away more personal items to make each room look fresh and spacious. A quick lick of paint or touching up marks on walls is definitely worth doing. First impressions are everything so the front of the property should be appealing with nicely mowed lawns and clean driveway if you have one. Smells can have an impact on how buyers feel about a property so a nice fragrance in the entrance hallway is a good tip,” he said.
“Lastly, when you get a couple of estate agents out to value your home, don't just choose the one who gives the highest valuation. Anyone can pick a figure out of the air but the challenge is to sell the property for the best price in the current market. This is why an agents track record, experience and reputation are more important to vendors than one who has a good sales pitch.”
For many first-time buyers, there is a lot to consider if you are thinking of getting on the property ladder.
“Decide which features are most important in your first home,” advises Richard.
“Is it location, number of bedrooms, size of the garden, privacy, internal condition or something else? For most first time buyers their savings make up the entire deposit so they have no extra funds to refurbish a property so it is important to buy a house needing very little work. Take someone with a bit of building experience to your viewings to point out any potential issues although your mortgage survey will highlight any defects which need to be rectified.”
While the industry can be challenging at times, Richard says he feels great satisfaction knowing he has helped someone find their dream property.
He continued: “Every day is different and brings new challenges. The common challenge is managing expectations of our vendors and doing our best to get their property sold at a price they are happy with. We manage dozens of rental properties so we have to be on top of any maintenance issues reported by tenants and make sure everyone is paying rent in full and on time. A daily challenge is fitting everything I need to do into the working day but I always seem to manage it.
“The most enjoyable thing about my job is the feeling when you find someone their next home and passing on the good news that their offer was accepted. That feeling of securing a deal for the vendor while finding someone their perfect home is why I do this job. When you hand someone the keys to their first home or even just a rental property that they wanted so badly, it makes the hard days worth enduring.”
McCulloch Estate Agents are located at 4 Market Street, Magherafelt and opening hours are Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 5pm.
For more information on their services telephone 028 7963 1292, check out their Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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