Asheville home exterior
When you look at a house, focus on things you can’t change, rather than things you can. If you don’t like the color of the home’s exterior, don’t let that be the deal breaker. Photo by Ryan Theede.

If you’re ready to buy your first midcentury home or if you’re ready to buy another, it’s always important to find a good realtor who understands what you’re looking for. MCM fans know that authenticity is key, and so is a knowledgeable and experienced realtor. Whether you’re looking in the city or in a small town, here are some tips to finding the best realtor for you.

Asheville home exterior
When I say “Midcentury dream home,” you probably already have an image in your head. Tell your realtor. They want to find you exactly what you’re dreaming about. Photo by Ryan Theede.

What You Should Look For

A good realtor is someone who really listens to what you want and uses that information to find you the best home. Troy and Kelly of Modern Asheville Real Estate suggest finding “someone who has your best interest long term and who cares about your investment and quality of life.” Try to eliminate those realtors who are only trying to get the deal. Ask a lot of questions about the homes and realtor’s experience to really get to their true motivations. They also advise, “Make sure you choose someone who is educated in both this style and who continues to educate themselves in their profession as a real estate agent.” Real estate hobbyists or someone that you know may not have the same passion and desire to learn more about the style and the homes as an experienced midcentury realtor.

Boise home exterior
Find a realtor that understands what you want. Don’t limit your questions and make sure that they’re asking you questions. You don’t want anyone to be confused. Photo by Cygilbert Photography.
Boise back yard
Try to focus on all the aspects of the home, including the exterior and the community. If you love to spend time, consider the outdoor areas. Photo by Cygilbert Photography.
Boise home exterior pool
Realtors are great at finding things you didn’t know you liked. Be open minded when they tell you they have a different type of house for you. Photo by Cygilbert Photography.

Experience is Key

A love for midcentury design and homes is the most important quality in a MCM realtor. TJ Pierce of Mid-Century Homes by Moniker Real Estate says that you should look for “a pure, unbridled passion for all things midcentury. If you can’t see it oozing out of their bones, find someone else. It’s not worth your energy.”

Knowledge and experience is relative in the grand scheme of the real estate market. Of course, it is important to look for an agent with overall real estate experience. However, if your realtor is well versed in midcentury style, you will probably get better options to choose from. Many midcentury realtors will have grown up in a midcentury home or have a personal connection to the style. If so, this kind of experience is fairly valuable because the realtor has been learning the style for a while and is familiar with the original intentions of midcentury design.

Boise home exterior
The time of year that you’re looking for a home might also affect how you see a home. If the home is bright and summery, you may get a better vibe from the house than if it was winter. Photo by Cygilbert Photography.
Boise kitchen skylight mint wall oven
See what you’re realtor can find for you. If you love teal appliances, tell them. Don’t limit yourself as realtors want to go the extra mile to get you what you want. Photo by Cygilbert Photography.

“Any midcentury real estate agent worth their salt should have a very good understanding of midcentury architects and what styles defined the work that they did both locally and outside of their own market,” TJ says. It is a bonus to have a realtor with a sense of visual design and architecture of the time. If your realtor has experience with visual design, they will be able to find homes on the more aesthetic side of the market.

When buying a midcentury home, it is rare that the home won’t have any problems. Midcentury homes have beautiful architecture and indoor elements, but sometimes with age, certain parts of the house can cause a few issues. “While knowing history and aesthetics are important, the agent should be able to help advise or have resources for helping clients deal with these items effectively and with respect to the architecture,” Troy and Kelly say.

While the house itself is usually the focal point of the search, community is just as important. If you’re moving with your family, the caliber of schools in the area and places for the kids to play can make or break a home. “Many real estate generalists can just find someone a cool midcentury home, but to understand the DNA of each little community and its nuances could save you one or two extra moves over the years,” TJ says. Make a checklist of what you want out of your community and make sure your realtor is able to give you extra information on communities that might work for you.

Boise home exterior
Focus on how you feel when you walk up to the home. Communicate how you’re feeling with the realtor. Photo by Cygilbert Photography.
living room floating fireplace marshmallow sofa
Figure out if you’re a renovator or a move-in ready type of person. If you like to make things your own and experiment, you might want to invest in a fixer upper and your realtor can help you find that. Photo by Cygilbert Photography.

Where to Find Them

A great start to finding a realtor is doing some online research. See who you find in your area. Your internet search may be more successful if you live in an urban area. If you’ve found someone you like, TJ suggests surveying the agent’s transaction history. See if this agent has experience with the homes you want to buy or sell. While you’re still online, check out the agent’s internet presence. Look and see if they have different forms of social media and who they follow, as well as who follows them. This will give you an idea of what kind of design they’re most familiar with.

Spend some time getting connected with the real estate community. Talk to different agencies, get recommendations from friends, communicate with fellow buyers and sellers on social media to learn more about the kind of realtor you want. You don’t have to jump right in and pick the first realtor you like. Look around and talk to different people to make sure you’re getting the best realtor for your needs.

Troy and Kelly also suggest talking to midcentury furniture dealers and asking them who they know. Often, these sellers will have helped realtors in staging a home. If there’s an architect that you admire, ask them if they know any realtors with midcentury design experience. Lastly, ask your current realtor or a realtor that you know if they recommend any agents in the area that you’re moving to. “What a great way to show your respect and appreciation to your current agent. Agents love to refer,” Troy and Kelly say.