‘House Hunters’: The Reason Couples Never Agree Proves the Show is Fake

Fans of the show know how it goes. A couple described as a papier-mâché artist and a part-time kitten rescue worker are looking for a house with a budget of $999,000. One wants a kitchen perfect for entertaining and the other wants the ultimate patio. They see the craftsmen style, the loft, and the Victorian, but one wants modern while the other wants older.

At least, that’s how all the jokes about House Hunters go. Sure, it’s reality TV, so it’s not going to be exactly like real life … but how much of the drama is fabricated? And why do the couples on the show seem to be constantly in disagreement?

A young couple holding hands walking down a sidewalk with a realtor on 'House Hunters'
House Hunters | HGTV/Discovery

For many, ‘House Hunters’ is the ultimate in binge-worthy TV

Even if the episodes can be a little formulaic, House Hunters has plenty of diehard fans. Many speak of how easy it is to spend an entire day binging one episode after the other without ever getting bored. 

The basic premise of the show is that an individual, couple, or family looking for a home each presents their list of wants and then sets off to look at three different potential properties. They tour the properties with a realtor and then afterward, share the process of how they decided which one to choose. The show then goes back a few months later to see how they’ve settled into their new place.

It’s formulaic for a reason

The show is almost intentionally formulaic. The predictability that every episode will be the same but also different is what gives fans comfort and makes them want to keep watching. People also love seeing the things couples talk about when trying to make the decision and then watching the follow-ups to see how they personalized the place they chose.

Fans have noticed that couples on the show are almost never on the same page

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Fans clearly like the formulaic nature of the show, but there are some details that seem to repeat without cause. Among them is the fact that couples never seem to agree about what they are looking for, often digging their heels in on extremely specific or hard-to-find features that make it hard to find the perfect place. Or otherwise, they get hung up on things that are easy to change, like light fixtures or paint colors. What gives?

Well, the producers have admitted that the reason is quite simple: they ask participants to lie! HGTV has fully owned up to the fact that many of the elements of the show are totally fake, including the disagreements that go on between the couples. Sometimes they simply ask couples to play up their differences (he wants a man cave, and she wants a gift wrapping room!) but other times they’ll full-on ask the couples to follow a script to make the story less boring.

Sometimes producers fudge a few details to create drama

The lying definitely doesn’t stop with disagreements between couples. For one, people already own their home when they appear on House Hunters, so the two extra showings are just fake-outs and the tour of their own home is staged. Sometimes the spare homes are found by realtors but other times it is just people asking their nearby friends if they can tour and critique their homes … what a request, eh? Sure, the audience at home might not even notice but at that point … is any part of it real? If not, it doesn’t seem to keep fans away!