The Truth About Netflix's Selling Sunset

Netflix's Selling Sunset proves that not all reality shows are created equal. There are competition shows, like Dancing With The Stars or Big Brother, dating shows like The Bachelor or Love Island, and then those that stand alone, like the entire Real Housewives franchise. But despite a lack of formal competition or a huge cable network behind it is Selling Sunset, has undoubtedly made a splash. The Netflix original reality series follows a group of luxury realtors in Los Angeles — and it's totally addicting.

Selling Sunset centers around The Oppenheim Group, a real estate brokerage that specializes in multi-million dollar sales and rich and famous clients. Of course, the realtors' personal lives all become fodder for the show, and the drama abounds. 

The glitz and glamour of Selling Sunset, plus all the arguments between the show's stars have made it wildly popular. But as is with any reality show, people naturally have questions. Is Selling Sunset real or scripted? Are the cast members actually realtors? Is the drama really that intense? Well, the truth about Netflix's Selling Sunset is pretty interesting, but also not what you might expect.

Netflix's Selling Sunset all started with a billboard

Seconds into the premiere episode of Netflix's Selling Sunset, one thing becomes very obvious: everyone who works at The Oppenheim Group is extremely attractive. Obviously, having a cast of beautiful people makes Selling Sunset pleasing to the eye, but it's also part of how the show came to be.

In an interview with StyleCaster, cast member and Queen Bee of Selling Sunset, Christine Quinn, explained how the show came to be. Apparently, it all started with a billboard on Sunset Boulevard, which they do every year to advertise the brokerage. "Adam Divello, who is the creator of The Hills and Laguna Beach, was driving down Sunset and he saw it," she explained. 

Additionally, Divello asked them if they would do a reality show with him. "We had been approached before for shows, but obviously, we turned it down," Quinn continued. "Adam was like, 'No really. You should look into who I am, and what I've done. I'll do it really tastefully.'" They eventually agreed to shoot a pilot, and the rest is history. It's a good thing they agreed, too, because Selling Sunset truly changed all their lives.

Brett and Jason Oppenheim from Netflix's Selling Sunset were born into their brokerage

The success of Selling Sunset and of The Oppenheim Group, in general, isn't really all that shocking. The show features homes that most Americans could never even dream of owning, so of course, it's addicting to watch gorgeous people traipse through them as if a $4 million price tag is chump change to them. 

But for The Oppenheim Group, which is run by twin brothers Jason and Brett Oppenheim, the success took a bit longer to come by — but it's something the brothers were born to do. Literally. According to The Oppenheim Group's website, the brokerage actually started way back in 1889 as The Stern Realty Co. Back then, it was owned by Jacob Stern, who coincidentally was Brett and Jason's great-great-grandfather. 

The brothers' ancestors certainly worked hard to build the real estate group from the ground-up, but now it's their turn to run it. Of course, just because it's a family business doesn't mean it's guaranteed to be successful, and Brett and Jason have had to put in a lot of work to make it what it is. Still, it must be nice to inherit such a flourishing business.

Chrissy Teigen has questioned the validity of the brokerage in Netflix's Selling Sunset

There probably isn't another celebrity on earth who loves reality television as much as Chrissy Teigen. The cookbook author, model, wife, and mother has long been tweeting about certain reality shows, so it was only a matter of time before she weighed in on Selling Sunset. But when she started talking about it, many of the cast members were shocked to see that she was questioning the validity of the brokerage. "I will say, I look at LA real estate a lot and have never seen any of these people lol either have our agents, who I have obsessively asked," she tweeted about the show. 

However, many realtors for The Oppenheim Group chimed in and defended both themselves and their jobs. Even Jason Oppenheim, the top-selling agent at The Oppenheim Group, himself responded, tweeting back, "Regarding your agent's knowledge of members of my team, I respectfully don't know him either although that doesn't mean he isn't successful." 

Los Angeles is a big city, so it's not surprising that Teigen had never heard of them. But now, everyone has, and The Oppenheim Group just scored some free publicity.

There's been some drama regarding the listings on Netflix's Selling Sunset

One of the biggest sources of drama on Selling Sunset centers around who gets the listings for certain homes. After all, with multi-million dollar properties, the commissions of selling just one home could pay your salary for an entire year. So naturally, there's a bit of tension regarding who gets new listings, and while many agents at The Oppenheim Group have been annoyed that Mary Fitzgerald gets so many listings, one TikTok user pointed out that the show made it seem like Christine Quinn had a listing that she didn't.

According to Women's Health, the TikTok user claimed the show made it seem like Quinn was selling her house, but she wasn't the TikTok user's agent. "I've never met her. She's never been my agent," the user said. "Bottom line is, she never had the listing, but in the show she was pretending like it was her listing, and that's misrepresentation of facts." 

Jason Oppenheim disagreed in an email to Women's Health, and said there was more to the story, and any agent could be handling a listing at any time.

A season 2 wedding on Netflix's Selling Sunset was allegedly staged

One of the most dramatic arcs on seasons 1 and 2 of Selling Sunset was The Oppenheim Group agent, Mary Fitzgerald's relationship with Romain Bonnet. At first, it was all about the 12-year age difference. Then, it was that Bonnet didn't propose with a real diamond. Then, it was the wedding planning drama. But, when the two finally tied the knot in a gorgeous ceremony filmed for Selling Sunset, all seemed well.

But was Mary Fitzgerald's wedding staged for Selling Sunset? According to TMZ, who obtained Fitzgerald and Bonnet's marriage license, the couple married at the Ventura Courthouse on March 9, 2018 — 19 months before she filmed her wedding for Selling Sunset. 

However, a representative for the couple stated that the pair kept their original wedding a secret in order to see if their relationship would last, according to People. "In their minds, they weren't properly married until the wedding that was filmed during the show," the representative explained. Whatever happened, Fitzgerald and Bonnet are still seemingly together as of this publication, so clearly they made the right choice.

Christine Quinn's husband is a mystery on Netflix's Selling Sunset

In Season 2 of Netflix's Selling Sunset, Christine Quinn came home from vacation with more than just a few souvenirs. She also had a fiancé by her side, who she referred to simply as "Christian" — and a rock almost as big as her personality on her left ring finger. He later became Selling Sunset's Christine Quinn's husband.

At first, Quinn's fellow realtors questioned whether or not there was any overlap between when Quinn started dating her man, and when he broke up with his ex. Then, viewers at home had questions, too, but not about how they met. As Vanity Fair noted, what was Christians's last name? And what, exactly, does he do for a living? 

As the publication reported, Christian's last name isn't used, and when they reached out to Netflix, the streaming company responded, "for privacy reasons, we do not use Christian's real full name in the show." If that's not mysterious than nothing is. And while the details on who Christian really are fuzzy, it's clear that he and Quinn share something special.

One of Netflix's Selling Sunset stars was also a Playmate

While the real estate agents in The Oppenheim Group have proven themselves to indeed be real realtors, that doesn't mean they didn't have previous careers outside of the real estate industry. For example, Christine Quinn was a model and actress before she went into realty, and Heather Rae Young, another agent at the brokerage, was actually a Playboy Bunny.

Specifically, Young was the centerfold model for the February 2010 edition of Playboy, meaning she was kind of a big deal. However, Young, who got engaged to HGTV star Tarek El Moussa in July 2020 (via People), is done with the magazine. In an interview with Access Hollywood, Young admitted that while she has no regrets, she wouldn't do it again. "I wouldn't be where I am today without Playboy," she admitted. "[But] I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to tell the kids I did Playboy," Young added, referring to El Moussa's two children, and her soon-to-be stepchildren. Tarek El Moussa's girlfriend really did bond with his kids!

Still, it's pretty fascinating that Young had an entirely different life before joining The Oppenheim Group.

There have been questions about a certain star of Netflix's Selling Sunset's relationship with the press

On Season 3 of Selling Sunset, Heather Rae Young's relationship with HGTV star Tarek El Moussa really heats up. But in episode 8, Christine Quinn pokes fun at Young and all the press she's been getting for her relationship, insinuating that she calls reporters herself. Young obviously denies this, but the question of just how she gets in the press so much remains. As Quinn said in the episode, "Unless you're Jennifer Aniston, I don't think the paparazzi just follows you around."

Additionally, in an interview with People, Quinn maintained her skepticism of Young's relationship with the press. "We all, we pay someone on retainer to put our names out there," she said. "I can understand that paparazzi don't come out of the bushes. I have a whole team for this." She added that the difference is that she owns up to it.

Quinn isn't afraid to admit that she hires people to get her interviews, but Young seems adamant that she doesn't ask for all the attention — it just comes to her.

This is Netflix's Selling Sunset's connection to This Is Us

In the very first episode of Selling Sunset, star Chrishell Stause – who's undergone a stunning transformation — enters the brokerage as a new agent, and one with pretty impressive connections: she's married to This Is Us star Justin Hartley, though the two met long before he got his role on the hit show (via Glamour).

Still, when Selling Sunset first premiered, producer and creator Adam Divello explained how thrilled he was to have Stause as a cast member. "The fact that we have one who's an actress and happens to be married to an actor who's on a very successful TV series is a plus," he told Variety

That doesn't mean it's always easy for Stause, however, just because she has a famous ex. "The grass is always greener, and she says it on the show," Divello continued. "Marriage is hard, living in L.A. is hard." Indeed it is, as fans also got a first-hand glimpse into the immediate aftermath of Stause's split from Hartley on Season 3 of Selling Sunset.

Will there be a fourth season of Selling Sunset on Netflix?

With the huge success that Selling Sunset has become, it's not surprising that people are dying for more seasons and episodes. However, reality shows take a while to film and edit, and while the show's stars are confident a Season 4 will happen, COVID-19 has changed their plans.

In an interview with Grazia Daily, Christine Quinn explained what she knew about a potential fourth season. "So usually we get picked up after the show airs, you know, we'll hear some information, some rumblings," she explained. "With season two being in the top ten [on Netflix], I think we're definitely going to get picked up." 

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has slowed production of Selling Sunset, though it may resume in 2021. "We have such a big production, there's so many people on our crew," she continued. "I don't think we'd be filming this year." If the show doesn't start filming Season 4 until 2021, that means fans will have a new season to look forward to, but it'll be a while. For the curious, here's other reality TV shows that have been canceled and postponed due to the coronavirus.

The drama between certain cast mates on Netflix's Selling Sunset is totally real

Because of the highly dramatized nature of Selling Sunset, fans can't help but wonder just how real the series is. After all, Mary Fitzgerald and Roman Bonnet's wedding reportedly wasn't all that real, so what else are they hiding? But as it turns out, most of the drama is totally authentic, especially when it comes to certain cast mates.

Most of the drama on Selling Sunset is between Christine Quinn and Chrishell Stause. And while the two have been able to play nice and work together at The Oppenheim Group, Quinn revealed that Stause still isn't friendly to her. "We went to the Critic's Choice Awards together, and Chrishell was ignoring me at that time, of course," she told Page Six. Stause also revealed that she had Quinn blocked on social media.

Additionally, Quinn told Page Six that she hoped Stause could get over it. "Everyone is just exhausted by her ignoring me, so I hope that maybe next season we can move forward, but I've been trying," she continued. Who knows what will happen next between them?

There's a reason why Maya's kids aren't shown on Netflix's Selling Sunset

One of the less dramatic team members of The Oppenheim Group is Maya Vander, the sweet Israeli agent who announced in season 1 that she was pregnant – and then again in season 2. The mother of two is obviously hard-working, having to juggle her home life with her professional life, not to mention filming a reality series. But fans of Selling Sunset have probably noticed that Vander's kids rarely make an appearance on the show, and there's a reason for that.

In an interview with Women's Health, Vander explained that it had to do with logistics. "Apparently, it's expensive to film a baby in production," she said. "They have to hire nurses. The baby can only be on up to 30 minutes. It's a whole thing." 

Because Vander's kids can't really be on the show, she has to be away from them a lot, which makes filming that much more difficult for her.

Chrishell's divorce on Season 3 of Netflix's Selling Sunset was totally raw

Perhaps the biggest bombshell on Selling Sunset dropped during season 3, when news broke that Chrishell Stause's husband, Justin Hartley, had abruptly filed for divorce. It was shocking for everyone, but mostly Stause, who didn't see it coming — and sadly found out just minutes before the world did. 

Stause's reaction to her divorce was totally raw, and her feelings were fresh when Selling Sunset filmed. So much so, that Hartley was reportedly "irritated" with Stause's behavior on the show, according to Us Weekly. Additionally, Stause revealed in an interview with Refinery29 that she wasn't planning to watch the scenes of her split on television. "It was a really personally painful time," she explained. "So, I'm not going to watch and will probably have to go off-grid for awhile and maybe reemerge much later." 

Stause added that while she's proud of the success of Selling Sunset, this facet has been rough and difficult. "I'm not looking forward to that whatsoever," continued. Going through a public divorce is one thing, but to have it filmed must have been a lot.

A Miami spin-off of Netflix's Selling Sunset is possible

A large part of the appeal of Selling Sunset is that the clientele in Los Angeles are some of the richest and most famous people in the world. But if one realtor for The Oppenheim Group has their way, a Miami spin-off is possible for Selling Sunset. 

Fans of the series know that Maya Vander, one of the realtors at The Oppenheim Group, spends a lot of time in Miami. And according to Vander, Miami is prime real estate pickings. In an interview with Women's Health, she explained that she was having a ton of success in Miami, and she thought the city would be perfect for expansion for the brokerage. "I think it would be a great idea and a great opportunity to possibly just do my own thing here, or maybe Jason wants to do the Oppenheim Group in Miami," she revealed. 

Even if there isn't a Miami spin-off — and we hope there is one — it's clear that's where Vander prefers to spend her time.