It appears that HGTV’s smash reality hit, House Hunters, which shows viewers prospective home buyers picking their new home., may not be “reality” at all.
According to one family’s account, the show requires buyers to purchase the house before shooting even begins.
Bobi Jensen who was featured on the show along with her husband back in 2006 told ABC news, “They kind of wait to make sure you close on your house and that you’re actually going to be ready to film for them.”
Jensen recently blogged about her experience on the show. She claimed producers asked her to find some homes just to look at.
“It felt like we just had a few days to scrounge up some houses to look at and it was our responsibility to find the houses …,” Jensen wrote. “And, finally, the producer just said find any houses you can. Just find something.”
Jensen claims that she had to ask friend to let them use their homes, some of which weren’t even on the market.
Brian Balthazar, HGTV programming executive, told ABC that using not-for-sale homes were unique to Jensen’s particular show.
“In this episode, her husband was the real estate agent,” Balthazar said. “In fact, and she references this in her article, they made the decision to show their friends homes, because they couldn’t find one.”
Fans have expressed outrage over Jensen’s blog, and her claims that the show is staged.
One fan wrote to ABC, “Wow. You always think these shows are fairly staged, but not that much.” Another fan continued, “since it’s so fake, I will not tape it or watch it.”
Balthazar dismisses the claims the show is fake, “You’re seeing real people finding the real home of their dreams. And that’s all spelled out right on the show.”
Jensen told ABC that she feels awful if her blog have caused viewers to stop watching. She also thinks that House Hunters can still be enjoyable for viewers.
Jensen also says she would do House Hunters again, “It was fun, I just really enjoyed it,” she said. “I love walking through houses. I love talking about houses.”