Is 'Selling the OC' scripted, or is Netflix's addictive reality series authentic?

We've had *a lot* of questions about the real estate-focused reality series—namely, is 'Selling the OC' for real?

Is Selling the OC scripted? Pictured: the cast of Selling the OC at their desks with shocked faces
(Image credit: Sara Mally/Netflix © 2023)

We've all had our suspicions and asked: "Is Selling the OC scripted?" 

Given the rumors about agents' lavish commissions, or perhaps lack thereof, and the fact that we had our doubts about that elusive billion-dollar listing in Cabo San Lucas, we've decided to dig into fact versus fiction. 

Some of the drama can seem too intense to make up, and even boss Jason Oppenheim confessed to My Imperfect Life that he has to remove himself from the turbulence from time to time.  

"I've learned to take a step back from trying to solve everything myself," he told My Imperfect Life. "I realize a lot of things solve themselves. A lot of things seem like a big deal upfront, but they end up not being a big deal if you just let them go."

Which of those "big deals" are authentic, and which have been stretched for reality TV fans' benefits? Is Selling the OC real or what? Let's dig in. 

Is 'Selling the OC' scripted or real?

Firstly: The Oppenheim Group is a real brokerage and all of the agents on the show are licensed. If you have a look at the O Group website, you'll realize there are plenty of people on staff we haven't even met!

Yes, Selling the OC focuses on actual situations within the realty business. However, that's not to say that producers don't have a vision for the way in which they want the series to play out. 

As Oppenheim told 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."

His ex, Chrishell Stause, had a different take. In March 2023, the newly married realtor and Selling Sunset star took to Instagram Stories to suggest that the producers were attempting to manipulate storylines. 

"The way reality TV producers manipulate things to create a narrative,” she wrote alongside snake and trashcan emojis. "Sucks to not be able to be proud of what you’re working on."

In her second slide, she decided to call out the production company. 

“Me collecting receipts for when the time comes @done_and_done_productions or scrap this fake narrative bc don’t forget we have voices too," she added. "Viewers do NOT want manufactured drama."

As far as drama goes, there's definitely plenty of it on the OG series Selling Sunset, as well as its spinoff Selling the OC. As with any reality TV show, we take things with a grain of salt, but the chaos we witness in season 2 of Selling the OCTyler and Alex's budding relationship, Polly and Jarvis' screaming match, etc.—has certainly seemed to extend into the outside world when cameras stopped rolling. 

We'll be the first to admit, we're too invested to turn back now. We'll just be here, dreaming of luxury listings and waiting for Selling the OC season 3, which will hopefully be released sooner rather than later. (Alex Hall insists it's the most dramatic one yet because guards are down!)

Selling the OC season 2 is now available to stream on Netflix. 

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.