Former 'Love It or List It' Contractor Reveals How Real the HGTV Show Is (EXCLUSIVE)

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

Sep. 19 2022, Updated 3:34 p.m. ET

Reality TV shows aren't always as "real" as some production companies would lead you to believe. At the end of the day, people want to present a specific narrative that audiences can follow.

Viewers have become cognizant of the potential "fakery" that takes part in these shows, but is that the case for Love It or List It?

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Distractify spoke exclusively with the show's former contractor and fan favorite Eric Eremita about how real the HGTV series is. And even though he's no longer on the show, he helped Hilary Farr's creations come to life for 80 episodes.

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Is 'Love It or List It' fake?

On paper, it would seem kind of difficult to "fake" a home renovation show. It's not like you can really CGI a house or cheat a renovation, so what is there really to trump up for the cameras? Well, a whole lot, according to some viewers.

If you've ever watched Love It or List It, the premise is simple: Homeowners aren't happy with their current domicile and are split right down the middle as to what they should do with it.

One half of the couple seems intent on selling their home and finding a new place to live while the other is all about that renovation life. That's where the show's hosts, Hilary Farr and David Visentin, come in. David shows the couple new places that they can move into, while Hilary tries to convince them to just update a few things here and there so they can learn to love their current abode.

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Longtime viewers of the show have noticed that particular beats in the program tend to feel a little "samey" after a while, almost as if the program is being nudged toward a specific format. But Eric set the record straight when we asked him if Love It or List It is fake or scripted in any way.

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"I can’t speak for the realness on other reality shows," he admitted to Distractify. "I can only speak from my own experience. With any design and construction shows that I have worked on, it is very real. Real contractors with real budgets being spent. Fans have the misconception that the show or networks pay for the renovations and construction when it’s truly the homeowners spending their own hard-earned money."

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There's an argument to be made that the "fakery" of 'Love It or List It' lies in the show's format.

And the end of every single episode, the homeowners are presented with a dilemma: Do they keep the newly renovated home that they've been living in? Or do they sell it for a profit and move into the house that David picked out for them, creating a moment of tension between two really great options?

Every episode follows a very specific journey: Hilary overcomes an obstacle that appears to tank everything she had planned for home renovations, and the first home that David shows the couple is always one that they hate. This certainly can't be the case every single time, so why do all of the episodes turn out that way?

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Then there's the fact that the show's conclusion isn't always what happens in real life, at least according to some.

It's been claimed that sometimes customers who say that they love their renovated home ultimately end up selling it or vice versa, Country Living reported.

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As the outlet notes, there was a Redditor who claimed in 2015 that the show marked a family member's property as being "listed" even though they enjoyed their newly renovated domicile. So it can be difficult to trust the posted outcomes of the program.

Hearing about the potentially staged segments of Love It or List It may sour your opinion of the show. But if you take Eric's word for it (since he remains a beloved and much-missed member of the cast), you can safely assume that many parts of the long-running HGTV series are pretty legit.

Watch Love It or List It on Mondays at 9 p.m. EST on HGTV.

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