*Points to the window* "It's like you can look outside and see what the weather is like."
As season 3 of Selling Sunset lands on Netflix, we’re digging deep to discover just what makes this reality show so compelling…
The most exciting thing about the UK estate agent scene are the drink fridges you get in Foxtons. And unless you have a few hundred (thousand) to spend on a pied-à-terre, you’re not getting a taste of their sparkling water.
Yet somehow, transplant the idea of Real Housewives x Homes Under the Hammer to LA, change the pedestrian sounding ‘estate agent’ to the more fiscally-astute sounding ’real estate broker’ and you have Selling Sunset; the real estate reality series that’s not just about any old non-fictitious real estate brokers, but the ‘top’ real, not fake, estate brokers at the number one agency in the Hollywood Hills: The Oppenheim Group.
It works because this is America, Land of the King Maker, a place where property hotshots have ascended to that of Celebrity and wield influencer-like levels of social notoriety, resulting in a group of brokers infinitely more interesting than the multi-million properties they are selling.
The depressing state of the UK housing market is reason enough to explain the success of this glossy, real estate reality show (fans are already crying out for season 4). Too ludicrous to be aspirational; it’s just escapist trash TV of the highest order.
So much so, after binging on a few episodes, you quickly begin to lose your grip on reality. As Christine Quinn takes you on another grand tour of a celestial-looking house featuring 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms (an interesting trend throughout the series is the unexplained bathroom to bedroom ratio), 175-foot infinity pool and 360-degree view of L.A, the multi-million dollar price tag begins to make perfect sense.
Selling Sunset “follows seven of the city’s most successful female realtors who all work under the same roof at the #1 agency in the Hollywood Hills and the Sunset Strip. They work hard and play harder, as they compete with the cutthroat LA market and each other”.
Perhaps they’re keeping their special realtor sauce hidden, because I’ve yet to see them (Heather) deploy the hard sell, or give potential clients any type of information that could in fact lead to them purchasing a million dollar house, but they do sell them. And sell them good. Perhaps the secret to securing a deal is simply the ability to show up with the correct door key.
Special selling tactics aside, the show is also littered with philosophical moments of quiet reflection. Early on in season 2, Chrishell wistfully looks out of the window of the $40 million Hillside House and says, “It’s like you can look outside and see what the weather is like.” It was in that moment I began to question what purpose a window truly has. Maybe we have been staring out of windows for so long we have forgotten what’s really outside. Maybe we need to look harder.
The Men of Selling Sunset
And then there are the men of Oppenheim. The sideshows, but entertaining all the same. Romain Bonnet (huband to Selling Sunset MVP Mary), who’s name evokes images of packed salad leaves, was inexplicably a pastry chef before someone realised his forearms were wasted on a croquembouche and were in fact more suited to modelling. What he lacks in conversation, he makes up for in his ability to hold a sizeable grudge. Namely against one of Oppenheim’s top agents Davina Potratz, who dare question his finances (they aint called brokers for nothing) after discovering that Mary’s engagement ring was actually a moissanite*.
* Not a real diamond!
Also Shawn, the moral compass of the show. An elusive, all-powerful ‘listing broker’ who pops up from time to time to say things like, ‘That’s not contemporary, that’s Tuscan Mediterranean’ (duh!) before vanishing and only reappearing when someone needs his help deciphering architectural house styles.
And of course, the eponymous Oppenheim twins who apparently can’t hold down a relationship. That’s the extent of their character development.
Cool. But who sold the $40 million dollar Selling Sunset house?
Spolier alert!! It was Jason Oppenheim who sold the reasonably priced three-storey house. Producers of the show have said that his co-stars were happy for him and his well-earned commsion. As am I. Well done Jason. Enjoy your $1.2 million.
Season 3 of Selling Sunset is avaibale to stream on Netflix now…