News

Reality hits home with A&E’s Sell This House

I usually steer clear of watching reality shows, so I surprised myself when I agreed to visit the set of A&E’s new show, Sell This House, which was filmed in Coconut Grove Feb. 17-19. I had a vague idea of what it was – kind of like Trading Spaces gets a realtor, right?

Not quite.

Expecting to see huge white vans with Sell This House logos and a trailer for host Tanya Memme, I worried that I was at the wrong place when I pulled up to the house and saw only a few cars and SUVs. The homeowners, Cesar and Lisa Verde, were inside painting, while their realtor, Alvaro Coraspe, was helping to clean the windows from the outside.

I took a few minutes to talk to designer Roger Hazard, and he told me that homes that have been on the market for months are selected for the show.

“We hold an open house with hidden cameras and invite potential buyers to preview the property so that we can get the negative feedback,” Hazard said. “Then we spend a full day restaging the house.”

The budget for all of the changes is a mere $300. The last day, the same buyers come back to see the renovated house.

“After being on the show, some houses have sold in as quickly as five days,” Hazard said.

He led me into the house, and I was immediately overwhelmed by the smell of paint. The crew was painting the previously terracotta orange living room white, giving the house a brighter and bigger feel.

To my right, the dining room had been filled with all kinds of the Verdes’ belongings, from large pieces of furniture to a pair of stuffed animals sitting in miniature chairs. Hazard explained that they took these pieces out in order to de-clutter and de-personalize the house.

“Our goal is to showcase the house, not the lifestyle of the person living in it,” Hazard said.

As the crew was getting ready to shoot a scene with Hazard, Memme came out of a bedroom wearing sneakers, a pair of capris and a green zip-up sweater over a t-shirt.

“It’s a very laid-back atmosphere on the show,” Memme said. “We all help out. I want the homeowners to realize I’m going through this with them.”

Just as I was about to ask Mr. Verde what the experience had been like for him, I was interrupted by somebody shouting,

“Everybody be quite for a minute.”

The house was dead still, and I thought I’d sneak a peek at the scene that was going to be shot. As I moved toward the bedroom I tripped over an empty bucket of paint. The sound of the tin rolling along the tiles echoed through the halls.

Oops. So much for silence.

I decided to leave shortly after that.

Sell this House airs Sundays at 5:30 p.m. on A&E.

Natalia Maldonado can be contacted at n.maldonado@umiami.edu.

March 9, 2004

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Miami coach Jim Larranaga is staying on the Hurricanes while they keep piling up wins. Dewan Huell h ...

Shakey Rodriguez, the Miami high school basketball coaching legend, vividly remembers the first time ...

It was a good day for the Miami Hurricanes basketball team. They moved up to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 ...

Erykah Davenport and Shaneese Bailey made key plays back-to-back late in the game and four players s ...

1. MARLINS: Jeter's Fish trade Gordon. Stanton next?: While others spend -- like the Angels to ...

William W. Sandler Jr. Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education earns national recognition for it ...

Retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez gives "Major League" advice to UM’s fall graduating c ...

Becoming the Man of the Hour ...

Always a little bit of a flair for the dramatic. ...

A scholarship created by retired Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez and born out of his love ...

Dewan Huell recorded his second double-double of the season as Miami improved to 9-0 with a 59-50 wi ...

The Miami Hurricanes football team hosted the 2017 Football Awards Show at Gusman Hall on the Univer ...

The Miami women's basketball team begins play at the Puerto Rico Classic Monday against Sacrame ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team capped its seven-game homestand with a 79-31 wi ...

University of Miami senior wide receiver Braxton Berrios earned 2017 first-team 2017 CoSIDA Academic ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.