One of my favorite series of shows (Guilty Pleasure) on TV is HGTV’s House Hunters & My First Place. I love watching the hunt, I love complaining about how the real estate agents always show the buyers something over budget. (That’s real. When I was an agent, my trainers all said to show them more than what they asked for… it’s why I didn’t last in that industry.) I also love guessing which house the buyers are going to get. (Hint: The one that seems to be the worse option tends to be the one they end up with.)
But the other day, someone told me something disturbing about one of my favorite shows… That when they film House Hunters, the buyers have already bought their house and the production crew comes in after the fact!
So I was digging around and sure enough, I found a few testimonials talking about their experiences on the show.
One person attests that they won’t consider the buyers for the show unless they have a signed purchase agreement. The production needs access to both the old place and new place for filming. The other homes they look at in the episodes are just comparable properties picked by the buyer’s agent or if they can’t find comparables, then friends places that are cleaned up to look like they might be for sale.
And the buyers are given a stipend of $500 for their participation in the show.
Like any other production, they do takes until they get it right. I saw one article that made note of how it’s light out when they go in a house, a dark when they’re looking at the same house.
Producers have also admitted to “maximize production time.” There is also reports that sometimes, it’s hard to find a realtor/seller to agree to be a part of the show.
I am so bummed about one of my favorite shows. Now what?
What About the other series, My First Place?
What little I can find, My First Place is less staged because rather than looking at three houses then picking, this show goes through homes until they find one the buyers want and go for it. There’s no guessing which one they’re going to buy.
One account said a few things were staged because sellers wouldn’t allow filming in the house prior to the sale.
Or that the film crew would go in first, into a house before the house buyers, where they’d wait outside until told it’s OK to come in.
Single locations could take hours to film… up to eight sometimes.