Is 'Selling Sunset' scripted, or is the Netflix reality series authentic?

One 'Selling Sunset' star gave My Imperfect Life direct insight into those 'scripted' rumors

Is Selling Sunset scripted? Pictured: Chelsea Lazkani, Nicole Young in season 6 of Selling Sunset
(Image credit: Netflix)

As is the case with many reality TV shows, fans have asked, "Is Selling Sunset scripted or real?"

Selling Sunset season 6 has finally arrived on Netflix, and we did the heavy lifting by compiling a list of the Selling Sunset drama we encountered during each episode. Between Chrishell Stause and Nicole Young taking jabs at one another and Bre Tiesi defending herself against Chelsea Lazkani, there's a lot happening—but is it all too good to be true?

Are all of the real-estate hijinks that occur in the series authentic, or are they the work of an imaginative production team? We went straight to one of the show's stars to find out. 

Is 'Selling Sunset' scripted, or is it real?

It looks like you actually can't make this stuff up, folks. Selling Sunset is, in fact, not scripted. In 2021, boss Jason Oppenheim spoke to Metro UK to clarify how the process works on Netflix.

"There's nothing that's scripted, we're never told to say anything. 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," he told the outlet.

Likewise, one of Oppenheim's realtors echoed that sentiment and insisted that what unfolds cannot be fabricated. Emma Hernan spoke to My Imperfect Life shortly after the season 6 premiere in May 2023 and revealed that she's often asked about the show's authenticity. 

"People come up to me and say, 'Is it real?! How could that be real?' And it's so wild to even say, but it's real! That's why it's so difficult to do this at times because these are our real lives, these are our relationships, these are our friendships," she told us.

She definitely felt the tension, particularly this season when the girls went on vacation and disaster erupted on several occasions.  

"I was in the moment when people were going back and forth at the table in Palm Springs in shock and awe at everything that was happening," she confessed. 

But at the end of the day, those see-it-to-believe-it stories make the show what it is.

"Millions of people are getting to see the ups and downs of everything. I think the show is so successful because it is so real—these relationships go back years in the making. You know, Jason, Brett [Oppenheim] Mary [Fitzgerald], these people have known each other for 20 years," Hernan added. 


♬ original sound - DANIELLA

But of course, with every situation, there's another side of the story. Christine Quinn left Selling Sunset in an unsurprisingly dramatic fashion, and she's accused the show of being fake on more than one occasion. 

As she tweeted back in 2022, "30 minutes till the launch of #SellingSunset enjoy the new season all of its 5,000 fake storylines." She then went on to say ahead of season 6 that the listings people see onscreen are not real, and neither are the commissions. (So, what does that mean for the Selling Sunset cast members' net worth?)

Judging from the show's popularity and ever-evolving drama, it doesn't seem as if viewers are planning to part ways with the Netflix hit anytime soon. In fact, they're waiting for the spinoff, Selling The OC season 2

Selling Sunset season 6 is now streaming on Netflix. Here's what you need to know about Selling Sunset season 7.

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.