House Hunters on HGTV

So by now many of you have seen my appearance on HGTV’s show House Hunters.  The episode was filmed in April and began airing in July.  It’s been very fun hearing the response and surprise of people who’ve seen it.  My clients who were featured on the show, Nicolette and Adam, were thrilled to be “TV stars” even during the stress of searching to buy their first home.

I loved participating but admit I haven’t watched the show since it aired.  Friends, family and customers told me that it just repeated last Saturday night. I now understand when Hollywood movie stars say they never watch their films after they are released.  It just feels uncomfortable watching yourself (or hearing yourself) on screen.

So here is the inside story of what it was like to film this popular television series.  What I really came away with is a new respect for the hard work that it takes.  The show filmed for five days — five long, long, full days and the result is a mere 22-minute show (leaving time for commercials).

I was recommended for the show through a string of personal and professional contacts. The producer of House Hunters, based in California, called me in November 2011. She asked if I had any suitable clients that would be willing to be featured. I immediately thought of Nicolette and Adam, who were looking to buy their first home in the western suburbs. They are enthusiastic and have great chemistry together.  I called them and they readily agreed.

Next we had to make short videos of ourselves, I guess to demonstrate that we are articulate and camera worthy.  I had my assistant Cynthia film me as I walked through one of my current listings and described it. Then we filmed a short head-shot sequence where I talked about my approach to selling real estate. Nicolette and Adam filmed their own short video interview.  Both tapes were mailed off to Los Angeles, and we quickly got an affirmative response.

Next I worked to line up the three prospective houses. That takes some negotiations skills as I had to get permission from the listing real estate agents and the owners. The owners of the featured homes signed releases with HGTV.

The film crew arrived from LA, and the long days began. First they filmed Nicolette and Adam in Boston and with their family having dinner.  They filmed general opening shots of Boston.  I was surprised to see that while the equipment is large – a big camera and lighting, it’s all handled by two people.

My “film career” started on day two with a scene of me standing in front of the first house.  Of course it was raining.  They filmed me walking up the front sidewalk and describing the house in my own words six times.  Then they filmed me showing the house to Nicolette and Adam.  Nic and Adam made it easy because they were so natural and very honest with each other. Once the filming wrapped up, there was no guarantee that our show would air.  The footage went back to be edited and we waited. In June we got the signal that we were hitting the airwaves.

The resulting episode really focuses on my clients and their decision. House Hunters doesn’t cover the details of making the offer, negotiating, inspecting, getting financing, and pulling the deal together. The role of the real estate agent for House Hunters’ purpose is sort of as a glorified door opener.  But I enjoyed participating, and I’m so glad my clients had the experience.

I won’t tell you which home Adam and Nicolette picked – that is the fun of watching House Hunters.

Stay tuned as an upcoming blog post will be an interview with Adam and Nicolette so they can share their view of the House Hunters filming experience.

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