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Is Netflix's Selling Sunset Staged?

When "Selling Sunset" made its debut on Netflix in 2019, fans weren't sure what to make of it. The deep dive into the world of luxury real estate made household names out of Oppenheim Group realtors Christine Quinn, Mary Fitzgerald, Chrishell Stause, Maya Vander, Heather Rae Young, Amanza Smith and Davina Potratz, with Emma Hernan, Vanessa Villela, and Chelsea Lazkani signed on for more recent seasons. The upcoming 6th season will feature newcomers Nicole Young and Bre Tiesi, per People.

From the jump, some fans questioned some of the high-end deals being wielded on the show. Did a client really pit Quinn and Stause against one another in Season 1? And what about that $75 million property that Potratz was dead-set on listing despite boss Jason Oppenheim's opposition to it? Some viewers also wondered if the women on the show were actually realtors, particularly Stause, who was known as a soap actress on "All My Children" and "Days of Our Lives."

Oppenheim confirmed that the cast's real estate licenses are the real deal — turns out you have to be both licensed and pretty to be a "Selling Sunset" seller. "Mary, Heather, Maya, and Christine were licensed and successful real estate agents at The Oppenheim Group many years prior to filming our show," he told People in 2020. "Chrishell was a practicing agent at another brokerage, many years previous to filming 'Selling Sunset.' As a licensed agent, Davina had transacted many deals before joining the team in 2018."

Still, while it's common practice to stage a house for sale, some fans may want to know if other things on "Selling Sunset" are staged.

Oppenheim says it's all real, but one ex-cast member claims some aspects are staged

There's no doubt that real estate is really being sold on "Selling Sunset." Davina Potratz and Mary Fitzgerald alone have earned more than $1 million in commissions, including sales that were featured on the show, according to Us Weekly, But Jason Oppenheim told Metro UK that there is nothing scripted about the show. While agents are sometimes asked to hold meetings when cameras are around, he added, "That's certainly not scripted. We're never told to say or do anything." Chrishell Stause reiterated the sentiment on her Instagram story. "The show isn't scripted," she wrote in 2020, per Cosmopolitan. "They can sometimes nudge us to address things, but what we say is all us."

But Christine Quinn, who announced her exit from the show after Season 5, per E! News, told a different story. During an appearance on "This Morning" with Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby (via Digital Spy), she claimed her first meeting with her future husband, Christian Richard, was faked for the cameras. "I actually met him through a girlfriend of mine, but Mary [Fitzgerald] spun this story that he was a client," she said. "No, we were dating for three months and then we bought a house together, but television is fun."

More recently, Quinn tweeted a bold claim ahead of the show's Season 5 premiere. "Enjoy the new season and all of its 5,000 fake storylines," she wrote. Quinn also told Page Six that being on a reality show means "you have to talk about things that you wouldn't necessarily even give a s— about in real life." "So, we all did our best to try to make a good season out of it," she teased.