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When Love It or List It made its debut in 2008, many people were excited about the prospect of having their dilapidated homes fixed up in exchange for television exposure. Within a few years, however, viewers soundly decried the HGTV series as fake. If you’re like a lot of people, you probably wonder if show participants are paid. We wondered, too. Here’s what we found out:

How to be on Love It or List It

If you own a home within 45 minutes of the Raleigh-Durham Triangle, you may be eligible to appear on Love It or List It. Proximity is not the only requirement, however. In fact, the application provided by Big Coat Media is quite complex.

According to the official show application, participants are required to be “outgoing, energetic, opinionated, and fun.” All household members must agree to make themselves available for five weekdays of filming staggered over the course of six to seven weeks. Homeowners must have a renovation budget of $50,000 and consent to expert design and construction as provided by Big Coat Media.

Honesty is the policy

Show producers require Love It or List It applicants to answer a number of personal questions, including whether or not they are members of the Screen Actors Guild or any other professional performers union. Applicants must reveal any other show for which they’ve auditioned and whether they actually appeared on said show.

Of course, applicants are required to describe their house in minute detail, including room counts, previous renovations, and whether the structure has ever been treated for asbestos or lead paint issues.

Homeowners who wish to appear on HGTV‘s Love It or List It are asked to provide an explanation of things they love about the house as well as detrimental aspects of the place they call home. Show producers also demand a CD that contains specific images:

  • 3 to 5 pics of the home exterior
  • 3 to 5 images of the front and back yards
  • 3 to 5 pics of each interior room that needs renovation service
  • 1 to 3 photos clearly showing the applicants family

Finally, applicants are required to explain the ‘family dynamic’ among household members while outlining daily life within the walls of any home to be considered for design and renovation on Love It or List It. Applicants who describe interesting quirks and unusual talents of household members boost their chances of appearing on the long-running HGTV series.

So, do participants get paid or not

Love It Or List It
Love It Or List It | HGTV

Unfortunately, there is no mention of pay on the official show application. It may be worse than that, though. Some people say that the show at least one IMDB reviewer called ‘one of the worst‘ never finished the job contracted or actually ruined their houses.

A Hooked on Houses blogger revealed her friend’s experience with Love It or List It. The blogger explained that Big Coat Media producers took pictures that made the home look as if redesign and renovations had been completed, but in actuality, their friend’s home was “only half finished” when filming wrapped and the HGTV crew packed up and went home.

Although HGTV makes no mention of paying Love It or List It show participants, BuzzFeed says that some HGTV shows, including House Hunters, pay up to $500 to participants for their involvement in a series.

The takeaway

If you have fifty grand to spend on home renovations, go ahead and contact the producers of Love It or List It. Don’t expect anything but 44 minutes of fame and a maximum of $500 for your trouble, and you may be delighted with the outcome.