House Hunters a Hoax; Should We Care?

June 21, 2012

Searchign for a homeFor those who believe reality television offers a a true version of American life, well, think again. Often no different than scripted shows like Two and a Half Men and Grey’s Anatomy, reality television has a new fallen soldier: HGTV’s House Hunters.

The show, where everyday couples and families hunt for their dream home that is within their budget, is a sham. Bobi Jensen, who appeared on House Hunters, recently described how the producers changed her and her husband’s story about why they were moving. Even worse, the three homes that featured couples on the show pick from are not really available homes at all. Jensen described that she an her husband had already picked her home prior to being picked to appear on House Hunters. The other two homes, which viewers watch in anticipation, eager to find out which home a couple will go with, were actually the residences of Jensen’s friends.

The publicist for House Hunters released a statement to Entertainment Weekly regarding the issue:

“We’re making a television show, so we manage certain production and time constraints, while honoring the home buying process. 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. Showcasing three homes makes it easier for our audience to “play along” and guess which one the family will select.”

While finding out a reality television show is not so realistic is not news, do our Chicagoland readers think House Hunters does a disservice to its viewers by not highlighting the reality of the current housing market? Or is this merely a television show that should not be held to the level of reality, even if it is touted as reality TV?

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.

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