We’ve all been there before: “Oh you’re a realtor?! How fun, I watch a lot of HGTV!” Now don’t get me wrong, I could talk about real estate all day, it’s definitely one of my favorite topics (that comes in handy). But here I am, about to shatter your reality about the total bullsh*t that is HGTV. And let me tell you, that can be more controversial at the dinner table than politics!
To be honest, these conversations can be damaging to relationships between clients and their realtors when the home-buying process isn’t as fun or exciting as it seems on HGTV. To demonstrate just how far removed from reality HGTV can be, I’m going to walk you through my personal experience filming an episode of House Hunters.
Don’t get too excited, I was on House Hunters as an extra (more on that in a minute). A realtor put out a call on Facebook asking for anyone who was available and wanted to be part of House Hunters. Naturally, I reached out. After all, this was my chance to be discovered and one day have my own amazing HGTV show where I spend my weekly episodes entertaining my millions of viewers while I sell homes (my true passion)!
Unfortunately, my episode never aired (#missedopportunity). That’s reality check #1: do you know why they hold casting calls in the first place? The answer is because that super fun housewarming party the new homeowners throw once they’ve moved in is often full of extras! I was on set for one day, and I was assigned a partner — a guy I’d never met — to play an engaged couple in the “housewarming party” scene. The “new homeowner” approached us while we were eating and drinking at their basement bar and we complimented her on her beautiful new home. The only thing about the scene that was real was the food and drink (you bet your booty that was real champagne).
Reality check #2 came when I asked my in-the-know friend about the process for getting cast on House Hunters. He told me you apply online and you have to already be under contract on the house before they will even consider you. What??? The entire show is a farce! How can you “hunt for a house” if you’re already under contract on one? The entire plot of the show is scripted! Once they have cast a “buyer,” they then find two other homes for the buyers to view (sometimes homes they saw and liked, sometimes not), and then the buyers are instructed to hem and haw over the homes, pretending they don’t know which one to choose (when in fact they have already chosen). You as the viewer get anxious to find out whether Bill and Susie will choose the charming colonial, the spacious ranch or the updated 2-story — when Bill and Susie moved into the damn house 2 months ago!
I am not asking you to stop watching HGTV — it’s a great way to keep up to date on design trends and snoop into other people’s houses! But recognize shows like House Hunters for what they are: reality TV shows that amp up the drama and camouflage the real work going on behind the scenes. They’re fun, they’re silly, but they’re a far cry from real life. (Which is not to say we can’t have fun while we’re buying or selling your home. Call me, I have ideas!)