The Secret About Love It Or List It You Weren't Supposed To Know

Love It or List It is one of the longest-running and most beloved shows in HGTV history. It's unlikely audiences will ever tire of hosts Hilary Farr and David Visentin, an interior designer and real estate agent respectively, fighting over a neglected property. Each episode finds Farr trying to convince the featured homeowners that their property could be as good as new with just a few of her designer touches, while Visentin works against her by trying to source their new dream home. In the end, it's up to the homeowners to decide whether to stay or go (which is where the titular predicament comes from).

There's usually very little that seems real about these kinds of shows. However, when it comes to Love It or List It, there's at least one major secret that those behind it really don't want us to know, since it heavily implies the HGTV stalwart is more fiction than fact.

Homeowners don't decide whether to Love It or List It

A Reddit thread asked participants directly whether reality shows are real or fake. And, among the responses, one user claimed, "My aunt and uncle were on Love It Or List It and they had them record both endings and the network chose which one they thought was best. They are still in the house and they love it, but the show says they listed it." Recording two endings is nothing new in reality TV, since even Ru Paul's Drag Race records both queens winning at the end of the season to prevent spoilers, per PopBuzz.

But it's more insidious to do so when the big decision takes place at the end of the episode. There's a sense that it works both ways, however, as another Reddit commenter noted that nobody goes on the show looking to list their home; all participants want a free renovation and to be on TV. However, this means taking the producers' wishes onboard even when they don't chime with their own.

Love It or List It is allegedly about entertainment above all else

Likewise, as noted on Reddit, because of the time constraints of redoing several homes within the one area simultaneously, there's a risk your home will end up unfinished. "If they get behind on the work on given home, they pretend that the work is done so they can wrap on the episode, then they take the crew with them to the next house," one user advised. 

Although this reads like a harsh take, it matches with the experience of North Carolina natives Deena Murphy and Timothy Sullivan, who sued Love It or List It back in 2016 over poor work and unfair trade practices, per The Charlotte ObserverTheir lawsuit, which detailed thousands of dollars of damages, claimed the show is scripted and, "These characters are actors or television personalities playing a role for the camera ... and in this case none of them played more than a casual role in the actual renovation process." 

The News & Observer reports the lawsuit was settled a year later, but its lasting impact on the show's legacy is keenly felt with comments on a more recent Reddit thread describing it as, "100 percent fake."