Okay so I can’t really speak about the actual show itself known as House Hunters and its international version, House Hunters International, but I can most definitely speak about shows which are similar to it, albeit it must be conceded that House Hunters itself is probably a pioneer of this format of reality television. So the question is, are these property-buying reality shows fake?
My personal experience as an estate agent
I wasn’t part of any such shows directly, meaning I’m not the real estate agent you’ll see featured on camera, showing the prospective buyers through a selection of properties they’re supposedly to make their choice from, but I was indeed involved in one of these shows. I was informed that said show was being shot and I was solicited for my services as a real estate agent, which I think is one of the elements which make these shows real, fundamentally.
So the answer is no, they’re not fake, however they are indeed scripted and polished. How do you gauge the “realness” of a reality TV show?
The stars of the show are actually buying property
Okay so yeah, some of them are indeed renting, but the process of buying or renting those featured properties is real. The people featured on the show are indeed looking for a place to purchase or rent, which is why you see that “X months later” feature which shows how they’ve transformed the property into the home they want, giving some brief but concise feedback on how things are going in their new home.
Enhancements and behind-the-scenes activity
I’m really trying not to gravitate towards House Hunters in particular and rather seek to discuss these types of property hunting reality shows in general, but House Hunters is perhaps the most popular one and it’s not difficult to see why. House Hunters International in particular is very popular.
So anyway, if we’re to focus on the House Hunters format of the realtor showing the prospective buyers three properties from which they supposedly make their final choice, that’s not the full story. That’s just what’s presented as part of the formatting of the show.
Otherwise there’s a whole lot more which goes on behind the scenes, such as the fact that there are times when a whole lot more properties are viewed. There are even some instances when no property is suitable for the prospective buyers and so none of the hours and hours of footage shot gets used, which means there are a lot of unscreened “non-episodes.”
There are also a lot of pre-arrangements with regards to so many different aspects of the process, such as how in recent years of filming the prospective buyers actually already have a confirmed property they’re eyeing and one which they’re already willing to move by way of making an offer. Imagine how much of a logistical nightmare it would otherwise be having what is usually a couple discussing just how much they love a certain property over the other two, only to find that in the meantime it has been snapped up by another buyer?
Fake? No. Scripted and enhanced, yes!
Either way, it’s all about the experience of hunting for property and that is very interesting and downright addictive to say the least.