What You Don't Know About Selling Sunset

For fans of real estate, Hollywood drama, and reality shows, "Selling Sunset" is a dream come true. The Netflix series, created by Adam DiVello, per Vice, centers on a group of real estate agents at The Oppenheim Group brokerage. Unlike some shows that explore the intricacies of buying and selling homes, though, "Selling Sunset" focuses on the drama — with a few multi-million dollar mansions thrown in, too. Feuding, jealousy, heartbreak, and rivalries are all tied up in a reality television bow. And frankly, it's addictive.

Like getting hooked on "The Bachelor" or any of "The Real Housewives" series, falling in love with the cast of "Selling Sunset" (and the stunning homes they show) is easy. But there's a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to this docuseries. From the tumultuous (and hilarious) story behind the show's creation to the real-life drama between cast members, what you don't know about "Selling Sunset" will surprise you. Join us as we uncover all the secrets of the hit series — and then watch every season again (and again).

The show was created thanks to advertising

Typically, you'd put up a billboard or place an ad in a magazine to get people interested in your business. But what if your company's advertising led to a reality TV show? Adam DiVello, the producer who took a chance on "Selling Sunset," originally got the idea for the series after seeing The Oppenheim Group featured in print and around Los Angeles. Already a fan of real estate, DiVello had the seed planted in his mind when he started to notice this particular LA company. "They're super attractive and they're the No. 1 Realtors selling in the West Hollywood and Sunset Strip area," DiVello told Variety. "They've got billboards up and down the strip, and it seemed like a no-brainer."

Thankfully, a lot of work was already done for DiVello, as The Oppenheim Group offices on Sunset Boulevard have been around since 2014 (via Time). A built-in set with realtors who look like gorgeous actors? What more could a producer want? And with an already-functioning workplace in the center of the city, it was an ideal setting for Hollywood drama to unfold. And if you've watched the series, you'll know that the episodes are full of spectacle. Clearly, DiVello had uncovered a reality television gold mine.

The 'Selling Sunset' pilot wasn't initially picked up

Although "Selling Sunset" has four full seasons on Netflix as of November 2021, per Elle, the cast and creator of the show weren't always sure it was going to end up successful. In fact, it took over a year to convince the streaming service to pick it up. In an interview on "Juicy Scoop with Heather McDonald," one of the show stars — Christine Quinn — explained that the beginnings of "Selling Sunset" were far less glamorous than one would assume.

"When we shot the pilot, we didn't think it was going anywhere ... We didn't realize how big of a deal it would be," Christine told McDonald. In the same interview, she also mentions that they assumed the show was a dead-end project since no one wanted to buy the pilot. Apparently, they all went on with their lives as if the show wasn't happening. Fast forward to March 2019, though, and the beginning of a long-running reality show was born (via Variety).

Jason Oppenheim didn't understand the show's premise

"Selling Sunset" almost didn't happen — mainly because Jason Oppenheim, founder of The Oppenheim Group, initially rejected the idea of the show. Per an interview with Christine Quinn on the "Juicy Scoop with Heather McDonald," Adam DiVello — the producer of "Selling Sunset" — approached Oppenheim with the series, but he didn't want to do it. He was worried about how the company would look and whether it would benefit the business. After another attempt to sway him, though, DiVello got the real estate agent to change his mind.

However, once he agreed to do the show, Oppenheim still wasn't clear of the premise. "Had I known the show would be this focused on our personal lives I probably wouldn't have signed up for it," he told Hello!. "I wanted it to be all about the nuances of real estate, but I now realize the show I envisaged wouldn't be that popular! I've come to accept the idea that I'm on more of a reality show than a real estate show."

Chrishell Strause was an actor before joining "Selling Sunset"

Though Chrishell Stause is a licensed real estate agent — per the California Department of Real Estate, where you can search any realtor or broker to make sure they're legitimate — this wasn't always the case. In fact, during an interview with Variety, "Selling Sunset" producer Adam DiVello explains that Stause has appeared on television several times. "She does some work on the soaps, on 'Days of Our Lives,'" he says. "I think we were lucky to get her, I think she adds something that is very unique to Los Angeles, and we're doing a show about realtors in Los Angeles."

In addition to "Days of Our Lives," Stause has also been cast in "All My Children," "Body of Proof," "Youthful Daze," and "The Young and the Restless" (via IMDb). So, by the time she was enlisted to appear on "Selling Sunset," the actor was already used to being in front of the camera. And if you've watched the series yourself, you'll know that she brings the drama.

The show has had several people leave

During the lifespan of many TV shows — both scripted and non-scripted — cast members come and go. The case is the same with "Selling Sunset." Having just released their fourth season, per Netflix, the show's cast has changed a bit since its origins. Throughout all the drama, this has included folks leaving the show for various reasons. One of the most significant members to flee the Oppenheim coup? One of the two Oppenheim brothers for whom the firm is named — Brett. In an interview with Glamour, Christine Quinn gave the scoop saying, "Brett has left to start his own brokerage. The girls are fed up with the favoritism of Mary in the office, we don't know who will move where. It may be the battle of the brokerages!"

But Brett isn't the only one who has officially said goodbye to the brokerage. Davina Potratz has also moved on — and began a new position at a rival real estate company. "I'm really excited to be a part of Douglas Elliman and their very sophisticated and global new development division," she tells People. "My background is in new development sales and marketing, so this is just a wonderful opportunity for me. It's just very in tune with my skills." According to this same interview, Jason Oppenheim is supportive of her decision to leave — but fans will definitely miss her on "Selling Sunset."

They've also added people to the cast

As people leave the "Selling Sunset” cast, it only makes sense that we'd get a few new faces around the Oppenheim office as well. Joining the cast for Seasons 4 and 5 are Emma Hernan and Vanessa Villela. Per Us Weekly, both have ventured into careers other than real estate prior to being on the show. Hernan, for instance, runs Emma-Leigh & Co, a family business that sells frozen foods. On the other end of the spectrum, Villela is an actor who's appeared in Mexican shows "Una Maid en Manhattan" and "El Señor de los Cielos (via IMDb). The cast additions were announced in May 2021, with both Hernan and Vilella sharing the news on Instagram.

Of course, what would a pair of newbies be without a mentor? Their cast member Chrishell Stause reportedly took it upon herself to welcome both Hernan and Villela to the show. "Even if we weren't filming a show, it's a tough, competitive market," Stause told Us Weekly. "Then, of course, you add the show to it and it just kind of amplifies everything. So I definitely felt a little bit that it was my duty to kind of help them navigate a little."

Most of the drama you see is real

When watching reality television, it's normal to feel a bit skeptical. Are these friends really fighting? Did this breakup actually happen this way? Are they just manufacturing the drama for the screen? There's a lot to distrust about these so-called "unscripted" shows. But according to Women's Health, the tension between Christine Quinn and Mary Fitzgerald on "Selling Sunset" is genuine. The feud began in Season 1 of the show (filmed in 2018) when Mary took Chrishell's side in an argument between her and Christine. It only got worse from there as Christine got engaged and neglected to inform her friend Mary. Fast forward a bit more, and there's more drama surrounding Mary's bachelorette party, to which Christine wasn't invited. (Yes, she was engaged at this point, too!) And even though Christine invited Mary to her wedding, that didn't solve the issues the friendship already faced.

One quick reminder, too: Mary and Christine had been roommates and long-term friends before "Selling Sunset" was even pitched. So the unraveling of this particular relationship feels extra vulnerable (via Screen Rant). As of August 2020, though, it seems the two have reconciled a bit, but who knows what future seasons of "Selling Sunset" hold (via Glamour). We'll find out if Los Angeles is big enough for both of them.

The houses that 'Selling Sunset' shows are actually for sale

For those who have watched an episode (or 20) of "Selling Sunset," you'll have seen plenty of Los Angeles real estate on your screen. Whether it's houses in development, under construction, or ready to be sold to the highest bidder, the show is full of gorgeous homes that the cast members are trying to sell. But are these houses and apartments (and sometimes unfinished projects) actually available to buy? According to Jason Oppenheim, the answer is yes. "The Oppenheim Group has sold every house that is featured as a sale on the show," Oppenheim explains to Time. "Sometimes agents work together on the sales." So that huge mansion that was the talk of Season 1? It ended up getting purchased for $35.5 million in December 2019. And that's not the only impressive home that's been sold by The Oppenheim Group.

In addition to the buyers we, as viewers, don't see, there are some famous folks who have worked with the brokerage. One in particular is Alex Rodriguez, former baseball player and on-screen sports personality on Fox and ESPN. He was Oppenheim's client when he sold his house for $4.4 million in 2019 (per Los Angeles Times). Even though we might not see it on the show, there's a lot of real estate action happening behind the scenes!

The Oppenheim Group has been around for generations

Though The Oppenheim Group office we see on "Selling Sunset" has only been around since 2014, there's a much deeper history behind the brokerage. In fact, the great-great-grandfather of Jason and Brett Oppenheim had his own real estate company in Los Angeles called Stern Realty Co, per The Oppenheim Group. That was in 1889 — more than 100 years before The Oppenheim Group rose to reality television fame. The exact location? Hollywood and Vine, which became the land where the Hollywood Plaza Hotel and Paramount Pictures would later sit post-1925.

But surprisingly, a century-long tradition of real estate didn't immediately sway Jason Oppenheim to open The Oppenheim Group. It wasn't until after he'd worked for several years in law that Oppenheim decided to continue the family business. And even though his brother, Brett, has officially started his own company, Jason remains at the brokerage he founded (via Glamour).

'Selling Sunset' is technically not scripted

It's truly the golden age of reality television — but often, it feels like we're being fed a certain narrative that's unrealistic. Is it all in the editing, or are these shows secretly scripted? If we're talking about "Selling Sunset," it makes sense that viewers might not be sure. After all, the drama is over-the-top, and the cast looks like it could be made up of models and actors. (Everyone is ridiculously attractive, right?) Not to mention, the producer and creator of "Selling Sunset" is Adam DiVello, who is also responsible for MTV's "The Hills," which ran from 2006 and 2010, per Refinery29. Fans often wonder just how much of "The Hills" was manufactured for audiences, and with the same producer in charge of both, it's difficult to know what narrative to trust.

But according to Jason Oppenheim, founder of The Oppenheim Group, "Selling Sunset" isn't scripted. It's as simple as that. "There's nothing that's scripted, we're never told to say anything," he tells Metro. "At most, I would say that in some situations, if some things need to be addressed or we're meeting a client or something, we'll be asked to wait to make sure if we get everything on camera, but that's certainly not scripted." Of course, this doesn't mean that everything we see on screen is realistic everyday dialogue and behavior. Still, the confirmation that there aren't scripted scenes makes the viewing (and the drama) that much more intriguing.

Christine Quinn's real wedding was filmed for the show

While it's custom to have a photographer at a wedding to document the day, it's less common to find camera crews filming for a reality TV show. In the case of Christine Quinn's marriage to Christian Richard, though, we saw the latter. According to People, Quinn and Richard had their wedding in 2019 — and a lot of drama was captured for "Selling Sunset." Sadly for Quinn, this wasn't exactly how she envisioned her televised ceremony. "I was a little disappointed. It just didn't really showcase the way that it was," she told People. "The wedding was the best day of my life and it was hard for me to watch it on the television show because that's not really the way that I remember it. I understand they wanted to get certain storylines in there, but this was actually my day. This was my day, and I was just disappointed in the way it was perceived on camera and translated, unfortunately."

When she mentions "storylines," Quinn is referring to the feuds between her cast mates, which were shown more prominently on the show than her actual ceremony. Some of said drama wasn't mentioned to Quinn at the time of the wedding, though. At one point, Chrishell Stause was seen "run[ning] through the reception area," Quinn's wedding planner, Lisa Lafferty, tells Page Six. In order to keep things calm, she kept quiet and let Quinn enjoy her day.

Not every employee is shown on camera

It's easy to assume that "Selling Sunset" shows us the entirety of The Oppenheim Group office. After all, there seem to be just enough desks for the cast we see on TV. But according to The Oppenheim Group's Instagram, this is far from the truth. As of 2018, the brokerage boasts more than 15 employees. So even though we only see a few portrayed on "Selling Sunset," there's plenty more behind the scenes.

Christine Quinn confirms the situation in an interview with StyleCaster, too. "The whole office is not in the show. We have a lot of people who work in the brokerage who aren't featured," she explains. "We did go through a casting process, where different people were on camera feeling it out. There were two additional girls who were in the pilot who decided not to do it. There are around an additional eight people who work there who aren't on the show."

Chrishell Strause and Jason Oppenheim briefly dated

Dating your boss is undoubtedly a recipe for disaster — but what if said boss is also your co-star on a reality television show? Talk about drama. Apparently, though, Chrishell Stause and Jason Oppenheim thought it was worth the risk. We were first introduced to their relationship via an Instagram post of Oppenheim kissing Stause's neck in Italy in July 2021. From there, there were plenty more social media appearances, including a photo of the couple volunteering with the Los Angeles Mission. They only dated for five months, but it left an impression on Strause.

"My last relationship was such a beautiful relationship in every sense, except for the fact that we just want different things," she says in an interview with Women's Health. "There is still a lot of love there. I had an old-school way of thinking that if you didn't ride off into the sunset, the relationship was a failure. And the relationship with Jason changed my thinking."

'Selling Sunset' has been renewed for several more seasons

Fans of "Selling Sunset" rejoice. On March 10, 2021, Netflix officially announced via Twitter that the show would be renewed for more seasons. Of course, this post on social media was a bit cryptic and led fans to wonder exactly how much more of the series we'd get. Per Elle, the assumption was originally that Seasons 4 and 5 were all that had been confirmed. After all, Season 4 premiered November 24, 2021, and if more seasons were coming, that would imply a Season 5 as well.

The reality? The renewal is even better than our wildest imaginations. As of January 2021, Netflix has given the green light to Seasons 6 and 7 of "Selling Sunset" as well (via Us Weekly). Though we don't know when Season 5 will arrive on Netflix, viewers can expect two more seasons after that — which means plenty of drama (and maybe a few new cast members, too). Who knows what the future holds. But as long as Christine Quinn, Chrishell Stause, and the rest of the "Selling Sunset" cast continue to give us the drama we love, we're ready.