The art of selling a vintage home

House Profile: A Midcentury Modern masterpiece

Photo courtesy of Kathryn Madison.

Real estate agent Kathryn Madison had a house for sale that she said was "so perfect" she feared it would scare buyers away This is not a typical circumstance in real estate, but then again, this isn’t a typical house.

From the outside, it’s your basic ranch home. But inside, it’s a pristine example of the style known as Midcentury Modern — a snapshot of the good life America offered in the late 1940s and early 1950s. From its jet-age kitchen table to its ultra-sleek living room mantel, it’s stuffed with original features, all of them in exceptionally good condition.

It’s the kind of place that would make aficionados of the genre swoon with delight. It also could send people who were looking for a mere house — rather than a time capsule — scrambling for the exit.

"I needed to appeal to that ‘vintage’ buyer, but if I overwhelmed people with too much detail (in marketing the property), I’d scare 90 percent of the buyers away," said Madison, an agent with Windermere Cronin & Caplan Realty Group in Portland, Ore.