By now, most people know that reality shows are a TV version of "reality." Still, you expect there to be some solid basis IRL for what’s happening on your screen. But lately, there’s been a lot called into question about Netflix’s highly addictive reality show Selling Sunset.
In case you’re not hooked on Selling Sunset (yet), the show follows the lives of several gorgeous real estate brokers who work for The Oppenheim Group, a boutique real estate brokerage in Los Angeles. Of course, there’s a ton of drama and beautiful real estate to drool over. But, if some people are to be believed, the show might ~actually~ be fake.
Here’s what you need to know.
A TikTok user says Christine Quinn didn’t sell her house, even though it looked like she did on the show.
TikTok user @petite_sayo shared a video of Christine Quinn saying she was trying to call her client at a listing appointment with Heather Rae Young, where you can see snapshots of the house. On Selling Sunset, Christine says she can't get into contact with the homeowner because she thinks he's in Europe. But @petite_sayo says the home featured is actually her house, and "I’ve never even met [Christine]." She shows video around her place, which looks like the exact same home, and notes that she was not in Europe at the time.
Apparently, Jason Oppenheim actually held the listing that Christine (allegedly) claimed was hers.
@Petite_sayo followed up her first video with another TikTok, explaining that her house was for sale, but she had it listed with Oppenheim Group co-owner Jason Oppenheim, not Christine. "I’ve never met her. She’s never been my agent," she says in the video. "The whole thing about her not being about to go inside, she’s locked out, she doesn’t have a key, she can’t even reach her client is scripted. Bottom line is, she never had the listing but in the show she was pretending like it was her listing and that’s misrepresentation of facts."
Jason says there's a simple explanation for all of that. "The Oppenheim Group has a signed listing contract for that house," he told Women's Health via email. "It was signed not only by her but by a corporation and another gentleman who signed for that corporation, so there seems to be a lot of facts that she’s leaving out. Furthermore, it's not uncommon for an owner of a property not to meet my entire team including agents who are involved in the listing. That property has been for sale several years now, with several different agents, and it is now currently for sale again, so I do hope it sells."
Mary Fitzgerald and Romain Bonnet were married for a year before their wedding.
Mary and Romain’s engagement and wedding was a huge part of seasons one and two, but the couple had a civil union a year before that, according to their marriage certificate obtained by TMZ. "Mary and Romain had a civil union a couple of months before the show began filming in June of 2018, but they chose not to tell any of their friends or family, as they were still trying to see if their relationship would work out in the long term," a publicist for Mary told People. "In their minds, they weren’t properly married until the wedding that was filmed during the show." Er, okay...
A post shared by Mary Fitzgerald (@themaryfitzgerald) on Aug 10, 2020 at 4:56pm PDT
Chrissy Teigen suspects the cast aren't real brokers.
The model and cookbook author only recently started watching the show, but she said in a Twitter thread that she thinks the whole thing is fake. "I will say, I look at LA real estate a lot and have never seen any of these people lol either have our agents, who I have obsessively asked," she wrote.
I will say, I look at LA real estate a lot and have never seen any of these people lol either have our agents, who I have obsessively asked.
— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) August 19, 2020
The Selling Sunset cast responded to Chrissy's theory on social media.
Jason responded with this tweet: "Chrissy, thanks for watching our show! Regarding your agent's knowledge of members of my team, I respectfully don't know him either although that doesn't mean he isn't successful and didn't just sell you a stunning home in Weho (seriously, I love your new house)."
Chrissy, thanks for watching our show! Regarding your agent's knowledge of members of my team, I respectfully don't know him either although that doesn't mean he isn't successful and didn't just sell you a stunning home in Weho (seriously, I love your new house).
— Jason Oppenheim (@OppenheimJason) August 19, 2020
Mary also chimed in with, "Lol I’m in 6 escrows currently and have sold a few dozens of homes in the recent past. I’m sure whoever your agent is, if I haven’t had the pleasure of working with them yet, I will soon."
Lol 🤔 I’m in 6 escrows currently and have sold a few dozens of homes in the recent past. I’m sure whoever your agent is, if I haven’t had the pleasure of working with them yet, I will soon. 👌💯
— Mary Fitzgerald (@MaryFitzgerald_) August 19, 2020
Chrishell Stause also wrote on her Instagram Story afterward that she was staging a house (and shared footage) and wrote, "I’m really a realtor!"
To be totally fair, the show does show Jason and his brother Brett regularly giving listings to brokers in the business (looking at you, Mary), so it’s 100-percent possible that Jason gave his listing on @petite_sayo’s house to Christine under the radar. And yeah, LA is huge, so it’s possible that not every real estate agent knows each other.
Chrissy and the cast seem to be totally cool now, anyway.
After Jason tweeted at Chrissy, she responded and, if nothing else, did acknowledge the fact that the Oppenheim Group's office existed. "Honestly I don’t even know what agency our agent is with lol. Love the show!," she wrote. "Pass your office every day, I’m an open house nut and am very sad I missed burgers and botox!"
Honestly I don’t even know what agency our agent is with lol. Love the show! Pass your office every day, I’m an open house nut and am very sad I missed burgers and botox!
— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) August 20, 2020
Also, Chrishell definitely did get divorced from Justin Hartley, which was featured in the show, so there's that.
There's even a website for The Oppenheim Group with all kinds of real-looking real estate info. Worth noting: A photo of the staff shows a lot more people on the Our Team page than those who are featured on the show, and there's no way all of those employees could fit in the teeny office that the show has been filmed in so far.
Most of the agents and employees don't work out of the tiny LA office.
That's true, and they never need to according to Jason. "Sometimes agents are in the office but simply not on camera, other times they are working out of the office," he told Women's Health. "Agents are certainly not expected to be in the office every day. Agents need to be out showing properties, looking at available homes, meeting with clients, going on listing appointments, etc. Most work can be done from home and many agents do just that."
Apparently it's common in the area. "As an example, many of the large brokerages in LA have more than 200 agents working out of one small office, as only a handful of agents are in the office on any given day," he says. "Even team meetings at most brokerages occur over zoom these days."
Still, Jason says The Oppenheim Group office has been open every weekday for the last five years.
The agents aren't only visible on the website and on screen, they're putting in hours in the office contrary to what critiques have said about never seeing the office open. "We have been open every weekday (and some weekends) since I opened this office five years ago, except perhaps on certain major holidays. I was even at the office every day during the pandemic. Whoever said this clearly has not walked by our office."
As for Mary and Romain’s wedding…the fact that they got "engaged" after they were married is definitely hard to write off as "reality." Still, it's a great show, so...
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