Agent Leslie Remy shares her experiences while filming the episode with HGTV
When Leslie Remy, a Texas-based realtor with McKinney Homes, agreed to appear in an episode of House Hunters, she wasn’t prepared for everything that goes on behind the scenes of the perennially popular series.
“We spent close to eight hours filming one house of the three homes the couple will see,” Remy tells the local Dallas outlet. “It’s a 30-minute show; that’ll probably be less than 10 minutes on TV.”
And although she says the show is technically “not scripted,” she and her clients had to repeat their dialogue four times on average in order for the producers to make sure they had the best shot.
“The couple is saying how they really feel about it and their opinions on the home,” she says. “To get the perfect shot, they have to continue to repeat their opinion over and over again. There were at least four good shots of each room or of each scene.”
Often, because filming takes so long—five days for the couple and three days for the realtors—Remy tells GuideLive it’s tough to find candidates who can commit to filming and meet the other show’s specific criteria: they have to be interested and they have to have specific and well-voiced opinions.
Her schedule wasn’t the only surprise Remy encountered. She was shocked by how much wardrobe mattered.
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“They told us to wear some solids — not prints — and to bring an extra outfit,” Remy says. “I brought four extra outfits and they were like, ‘nope, nope, nope.'”
In the end, Remy says she sported a “boring” outfit: black pants, a blue top and no necklace.
Her experience does seem to refute some earlier reports that the show is staged.
“They are buying a home. They’re purchasing it. It is theirs,” Remy says. “You’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on it — it has to be something you like.”
In the past, House Hunters has been the subject of scrutiny for being “a little bit (mostly) fake,” Entertainment Weekly reported in June 2012.
At the time, Bobi Jensen, a woman who appeared on the HGTV show to shop for a home, told EW that the producers changed her storyline about why she and her husband wanted to move, and she admitted that prior to filming, the couple had already chosen their home. According to the publication, Jensen said the other two homes they viewed were their friends’ houses which weren’t actually on the market.
“It wasn’t ever intended to be this way,” Jensen told EW. “The producers were relying on us to set up the homes to tour. We called all over town to realtors that had houses listed and we couldn’t get anyone to agree to it…. I think they were afraid we’d show their house in a bad light.”
“We’re making a television show, so we manage certain production and time constraints, while honoring the home buying process,” HGTV told EW in a statement at the time. “To maximize production time, we seek out families who are pretty far along in the process. Often everything moves much more quickly than we can anticipate, so we go back and revisit some of the homes that the family has already seen and we capture their authentic reactions.”
“Because the stakes in real estate are so high, these homeowners always find themselves RIGHT back in the moment, experiencing the same emotions and reactions to these properties,” the network continued. “Showcasing three homes makes it easier for our audience to ‘play along’ and guess which one the family will select. It’s part of the joy of the House Hunters viewing experience. Through the lens of television, we can offer a uniquely satisfying and fun viewing experience that fulfills a universal need to occasionally step into someone else’s shoes.”