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Do You Want To Be a Star on HGTV’s House Hunters?

Hawaii Realtor takes us behind the scenes and offers tips.


Every so often, national television shows come to Hawaii to showcase our homes, realtors, buyers and sellers. On Monday, Sept. 1 at 10 p.m., HGTV will air its latest episode featuring a family looking for a $1 million-plus home in Windward Oahu with realtor Yvonne Ahearn of Home Shoppe Hawaii.

Although Ahearn couldn’t reveal which home her clients eventually selected, she did offer some tips for other Hawaii realtors who are interested in being on the show — which isn’t as easy as it looks.

The first step is actually having clients who are willing to be on camera. Most people are skittish about privacy, and they need to commit to being at the filming every day for five days.

“It’s quite fun to do the filming, but five days is a lot of time and the compensation is minimal, with zero for the realtors,” Ahearn says. “It has to be something you and your clients really want to do, and for the fun of it.”


Ahearn had to submit an audition tape to the producers. Prior to taping, she coached her clients on camera presence and what she thought the producers might be looking for.

“They prefer upbeat, energetic people, with personality and a sense of humor. They also need to be articulate on camera,” Ahearn says. “I also think they like to see fairly nice-looking properties that look good on TV. It’s a little depressing to show dumpy fixer-uppers when the price point in Hawaii is so high.”

Time commitment

They allot three days for viewing properties, one day for after the clients move in to their home, and one day for scenic shots of the area and anything else that was missed.

“It often takes several takes to get a scene, plus each scene is taken from various angles,” Ahearn explains. “The show is not scripted — it is totally ad libbed — but we do have to take the same scene several times over.”

Ahearn points out that the listing agents are not featured in this show, and they don’t show a realistic amount of interaction between realtors and clients due to time constraints. “I discuss the pros and cons of a home and help them make decisions on the spot,” she says.

In addition, if there is art in the homes for sale, it is removed from the walls due to copyright concerns. During one home filming, Ahearn had to substitute the listing home’s art with some from her own home.

Finally, keep in mind that it may not be possible to find homes for sale in the area and price range. Although the clients had a budget of $1.5 million, it was actually difficult to find properties that fit their criteria.

Still interested? Call us when you’re the next real estate reality show star!

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