Bobi Jensen, former “house hunter,” says the HGTV series is fake. Yahoo reports: “"When I watch other episodes of the show now I can usually pick out the house they were getting based on hair-dos alone," says Jensen. Houses are sometimes shot months apart. While the two rejected properties may be on the market, in Jensen's case, "They were just our two friends' houses who were nice enough to madly clean for days in preparation for the cameras!"”
Jensen said the episode is filmed in advance, but the producers wait until the participant(s) actually close on the house before airing it on HGTV. “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 told ABC News that she will feel terrible if viewers stop watching the show because she has released this information. She said that the real joy of watching the show for viewers is being able to see the various houses, not whether or not it is a real process. “I love walking through houses. I love talking about houses.”
The series involves participants that are looking to purchase a new home. They visit three different homes and highlight the positives and negatives of each home. The end of each episode occurs when the participant(s) chooses one of the homes to buy. The final minutes gives viewers an update on the home and how the new homeowner(s) have made personal changes and made it their own.
Reality TV gets a bad rap at times for seeming unrealistic quite often. This time someone actually came out and said it was fake. For some viewers, this must have been quite a shock. Fans of the show are dedicated to watch it and cheer on the participants to choose the home the viewers think would be most appealing. For those that doubt the “reality” of “reality TV," this simply reinforces their opinion and raises additional doubt when it comes to the believability of these television shows.
A publicist for "House Hunters" told Entertainment Weekly: "We've learned that the pursuit of the perfect home involves big decisions that usually take place over a prolonged period of time - more time than we can capture in 30 minutes of television…. We're making a television show, so we manage certain production and time constraints, while honoring the home buying process…. 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."