HGTV Shows Are Totally Fake, and Here’s Why

Just like in any reality show, there are different levels of fakery at play across the very popular home-improvement and house-hunting shows that HGTV has to offer. From phony scenarios, to faked property sales and manufactured drama, here’s a list of the 10 fakest HGTV shows.

#10. Love It or List It

Photo: Courtesy of Cheatsheet

Love It or List It is a merger between a house hunting and a renovation show, except it comes with a twist: at the end of each episode, the homeowners either keep or sell the home. According to a Reddit user, they actually record both endings, and the network chooses the best one, no matter what the homeowners actually decide. Oh, but it gets worse…

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Definitely Not Love It

Photo: Courtesy of People

In 2016, two participants sued the show, alleging that their renovation funds were misappropriated, and the show used a mediocre contractor that did questionable work. And, to top it all off, the show is very heavily scripted.

Another fan-favorite HGTV show is coming up on #9.

#9. House Hunters

Photo: Courtesy of PBS

According to the Hooked on Houses blog, this show was almost entirely fake. Show participant Bobi Jensen revealed the show faked the reason why he was on the show. Not only that, but the family had already bought a house, and pretended to hunt for a home the whole time. But wait, there’s more!

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Script Hunters

Photo: Courtesy of HGTV

Pretending to look for a house you already bought is pretty bad. Now, add looking at houses that aren’t even for sale to the mix and you get the perfect HGTV show. Jensen revealed that the houses they looked at actually belonged to some friends of the family.

Guess, what spinoff of this show also made it to our list? Check the next slide to find out.

#8. House Hunters International

Photo: Courtesy of 9Now

Well, you didn’t expect the House Hunters spinoff to be anything but a sham as well, did you? According to a show participant, the homeowners were swapped with a younger, fake couple, to appeal to a wider audience. What a surprise! But it doesn’t stop there.

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Fake Realtors

Photo: Courtesy of HGTV

According to show participant Dr. Nate Lambert, producers overdramatized a disagreement between family members over kitchen views. On top of that, he revealed that the realtor who appeared on the episode was fake. Unbelievable.

Coming up next, a show that used similar tactics.

#7. Beachfront Bargain Hunt

Photo: Courtesy of Reelgood

The show is just like House Hunters, but the only difference is that they feature beach houses. Johanna, a realtor who appeared on the show, revealed that producers told her not to use the word “nice”, for some reason. Because of this, they had to reshoot several scenes. But it doesn’t stop there.

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Beachfront Bargain Hoax

Photo: Courtesy of HGTV

The participants had to exit and re-enter each room and repeat the exact same words they said the first time, so that the crew got the shots it needed. And of course, they had to keep faking their reactions. 

One of the most popular HGTV shows is next on our list.

#6. Fixer Upper

Photo: Courtesy of HGTV

Fixer Upper is a home renovation show starring married couple Chip and Joanna Gaines. Joanna is the designer and Chip is the contractor and together they flip pretty dilapidated properties into dream homes. But, just like many HGTV shows, this one shows homeowners hunt for a house they’ve already bought. That’s not all, thought.

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How Fake is It?

Photo: Courtesy of Mercury News

According to a show participant, although the house hunt at the beginning of every episode is fake, the rest is pretty much real. Chip and Joanna actually do the work they’re supposed to do. The only other thing that isn’t real, is that participants don’t get to keep the furniture used for the big reveal (unless they pay for it.)

We are reaching our top 5, don’t miss it!

#5. Dream Home Giveaway

Photo: Courtesy of Channel Two

The Dream Home Giveaway is not a show, but is a sweepstakes done by HGTV since 1997. Every year, HGTV gives a lucky family a fabulous designer home, plus other prizes such as cars. So, what’s the problem with it? Check out the next page to find out.

Nightmare Home Giveaway

Photo: Courtesy of Virtuance

Sadly, nearly none of the winners can actually move into their dream home, because of the huge tax liability that comes with it. Homeowners would have to pay around 40% of the total prize value of the house. That is why most of them end up selling them, and taking a huge load of cash for their pockets.

Another fan-favorite show is coming up next.

#4. Yard Crashers

Photo: Courtesy of HGTV

In theory, the show’s concept is pretty great: the host walks into a big home improvement store and randomly picks an unsuspecting customer to have their backyard renovated. However, according to a Reddit user, this isn’t the case.

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Staged Crashes

Photo: Courtesy of DYI Network

According to a Reddit user, people aren’t randomly selected, and the initial surprise encounter is staged. Host Christ Lambton revealed that they screen participants for attitude and go through 15-20 people before casting a participant. Disappointing, isn’t it?

Don’t miss our Top #3!

#3. Designed to Sell

Photo: Courtesy of Hooked on Houses

Designed to Sell gives homeowners a $2,000 budget and a pro design team to get their house ready for the market. According to Hooked on Houses, the show is as fake as your grandma’s teeth. Check the next slide to see why.

Designed to Fake

Photo: Courtesy of Artnak

According to an anonymous reader, since her house wasn’t on the market, the show staged a fake open house where only friends and family attended. On top of that, the renovation wasn’t finished:  the paint job wasn’t complete, and custom pillowcases were actually duct taped fabric around the pillows.

#2 might be one of your favorite HGTV shows…

#2. Curb Appeal: The Block

Photo: Courtesy of HGTV

Cenate Pruitt, a Curb Appeal: The Block participant revealed that, although he had a great experience with the production crew and contractors, not everything shown in the episode was real. For starters, the shots of the neighborhood were nowhere near his house. But there’s more…

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Fake Appeal

Photo: Courtesy of HGTV

Although Pruitt is very grateful for being featured on the show, the contractors build a retaining wall that caused the basement to flood, even though the show sent several people to fix it. According to Pruitt, the show could have planned things a little better.

Don’t miss our #1 pick!

#1. Property Brothers

Photo: Courtesy of CNBC

The premise of this very popular show is as follows: twin brothers Drew and Johnathan Scott help buyers find and renovate a home. Drew, a realtor, finds the house, and Johnathan, a contractor, fixes it… or do they? Actually, local professionals do all the work, while the twins are the faces of the show. But that’s not all…

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Two is Faker than One

Photo: Courtesy of Agamarvel

Johnathan actually revealed that the show prefers to work with “homeowners who have identified a house that they already like”. Translation: the participants have already chosen a house, and realtor Drew doesn’t do any work other than looking good for the camera. And, of course, Johnathan has local workers who actually renovate the house. However, after all the other shows on our list, we aren’t surprised.