With Season 14 of Million Dollar Listing on the way, fans of the show are excited to return to all the drama and glamorous deals done on the show. Viewers fell in love with watching hot-shot rising realtors trying to move up in the business and at the same time juggling their personal lives but not everything is shown on the show is as real as it seems.
Over the years the show has generated multiple spinoffs based on cities like New York and Los Angeles. The new season releasing on Dec. 8 will also be the Bravolebrity Edition.
There Are A Lot Of Reshoots
Making a hit reality TV show is hard as it is, but making it glamorous while selling houses can be even tougher. It is clear that the showrunners take some creative liberty in adding some jazz to these realtor’s life.
Former cast member, Madison Hildrebrand commented to Showbiz Cheat Sheet that producers ask them to do a ton of reshoots, especially of the more mundane stuff in their lives. The former cast member stated that “It’s me getting out of the car three times at different angles”. While this may seem very vane, it is some of the things that editors have to focus on to add more glamor to the show.
Tussles Are Often Amped Up
It is common in any field for people to have competitors in their industry and this can be clearly seen in Million Dollar Listing as well. But some of the drama is often amped up in the show to keep the viewers interested. It is very rare for home reality TV shows to be real.
Madison Hildebrand stated to Showbiz Cheat Sheet that the instance when Heather Altman threw a glass of champagne during an open house was amped for the show and “Heather would have never thrown a glass … at an open house if cameras weren’t filming”. Even if such a thing wouldn’t have happened in real life, it can be said that it makes for good TV.
The Background Models Are Hired
Million Dollar Listing is meant to represent the top 1% trying to buy and sell houses and for this, the show needs to add some glamor from time to time. But while some viewers may be thinking that the people in the background during parties and open houses are real, it seems like they have been hired.
A casting notice in 2015 shows that the producers were looking for “Yoga participants and instructors” along with “Bikini models” to take part in the show. The casting call also called for people in more roles like housewives as well. It is one of the show details that even most fans are not aware of.
There Is Much More To Selling Houses
Million Dollar Listing, and other shows like Buy My House, does a brilliant job of making the lives and jobs of realtors exciting and glamorous but according to one of the cast members from the show, not everything is shown about life.
Alisa Peterson, an employee of Sotheby’s International Realty stated in a blog post that the real-life version of selling houses involves a lot more things such as working with a seller and the intricacies of landing a deal. On top of this, there is a huge amount of paperwork involved, and “Paperwork isn’t sexy”.
Not All Deals Go Through
The realtors in Million Dollar Listing seem to be selling a lot of houses. While it may be true, there are some deals that don’t go through even if it is shown as such in the show.
An article from the New York Post states that not all facts about the deals are disclosed in the show. Between the show being shot and aired, some deals might just fall through, and “viewers may not get the whole story”.
The Cast’s Personal Lives Can Be Staged
Million Dollar Listing also focuses on the personal lives of the realtors on top of the deals they crack and this is one of the most entertaining parts of the show. But sometimes the producers can stage this part of the show to make it seem more luxurious or dramatic.
Fredrik Ekmund tried to get permission from the condo board at 21 Astir Place to let the production crew shoot at his house but was refused. He ended up renting another apartment in a different part of town where the crew shot him getting out of bed and messing about in the kitchen. So while viewers thought they were seeing him in his house, it was just a random apartment.
Some Houses Shown Are Already Sold
While there are quite a lot of real-life deals shown on the show, some events seem to be completely staged. It is often shown on shows like Million Dollar Listing that listings often throw broker parties to get realtors interested in taking on a new house.
An Elliman employee, Holly Parker stated to The New York Times that he show had thrown a broker party in a penthouse at 100 11th Avenue but in real life, the deal had already been signed on the place. She further stated that it was “All make believe”. The show portrayed that new brokers were being introduced to the apartment, but it had already been sold.
Timelines Are Not Always Accurate
The filming schedule of the show lasts about 7 months of the year, this means that only the deals that have gone through or failed can make it into the show to keep it interesting. But most people who have bought a house know that real estate deals can end up taking much longer or even get done within a couple of weeks.
The showrunners edit these deals in a way so that they fit into the season schedule. Deals taking longer are “Often portrayed in the time frame that the production crew determines”. Similarly, if a deal wraps up very quickly, it can be made to look drawn out to flesh out the season.
Deals Don’t Close As Easily
While it is true that the most important part of any reality TV show is for it to be entertaining and sticking too much with real life can make things boring.
A lot of times it is shown in the show that closing a deal only takes a couple of meetings, phone calls, and charming the potential buyers. While all of this is shown to only take five to 10 minutes, the whole process in real life can take months and months of going back and forth trying to negotiate the deal. Discussing the terms and taking counter offers can a lot of times get tedious and even boring, and it’s so much harder than shown on Million Dollar Listing, says Redfin Agent Alec Traub who works in the real estate business in Los Angeles.
The Show Can Misrepresent Realtors
Million Dollar Listing has to make the show entertaining to watch otherwise viewers will just tap out, this is one of the reasons why they focus on a select few realtors in the entire region. But it can be led to believe that the competition in the real estate market only revolves around 10-15 agents.
Alec Traub of Redfin Agent, who works in the LA real estate business says that there can be thousands of agents within the LA area. While it is true that some agents have more dominance in some areas, there are still at least 10 agents even in places like Bel Air or Beverly Hills.