Is HGTV’s “House Hunters” Fake?
The premise of House Hunters is very simple, the program follows individuals, couples, or families searching for a new home with the assistance of a real estate agent. They are shown three properties, one of which is selected by the prospective buyers, whose offer is generally accepted by the seller. In the last five minutess of each episode, the new owner provides a quick tour of the house, revealing any changes or improvements that were made. Controversy struck House Hunters when former participant Bobi Jensen told her experience on the show to the real estate blog Hooked on Houses.
Here’s Bobi Jensen’s story as found on Hooked on Houses.
Jensen first admitted that the producers of the show felt their ‘true’ story of wanting to purchase a larger home and turning their former one into a rental – boring and overdone. Jensen goes on to explain, “They didn’t even ‘accept’ us being a subject for the show until we closed on the house we were buying. So then when they decided to film our episode we had to scramble to find houses to tour and pretend we were considering. The ones we looked at weren’t even for sale…they were just our two friends’ houses who were nice enough to madly clean for days in preparation for the cameras! When I watch other episodes of the show now I can usually pick out the house they were getting based on hair-dos alone. There are certain filming days where they shoot your old house and your new one and then months later when they do the other choices and you all moved in to your new one…. My husband was a Realtor at the time, which was one of the reasons he agreed to do it: free advertising.
“It was also a premise the producers thought was funny. They played up the whole ‘will his wife be his hardest client?’ thing. Which was mostly true, because I LOVE houses and wanted to do lots of house hunting, but instead my husband could just weed them out and I only saw one or two because we quickly knew if something was a good deal financially. My hubby hates ‘being fake,’ so the fact that they had us do 5 or 6 takes on each scene drove him nuts.”