Do The Property Brothers Really Work On The Houses?

A look into the claims!

Do The Property Brothers Really Work On The Houses? DFree / Shutterstock

It's hard to believe but it's been almost 10 years since the Property Brothers — aka Jonathan and Drew Scott — made their debut on HGTV. Since that time, they've not only done spin-off shows (including Brother Vs. Brother, Property Brothers At Home, and Property Brothers: Forever Home), but they've also become executive producers of other shows (including Nate and Jeremiah By Design on TLC). 


But even though Jonathan Scott is listed as a licensed contractor on the show and Drew Scott is listed as a licensed real estate agent, fans have wondered how much of the show is real and how much is manufactured to make for good TV. And while, certainly, there are things that are "re-edited" for television to up the drama — no reality TV is pure reality — there have been questions raised about the authenticity of the Property Brothers' flagship show. Most recently, in 2017, fans raised issues when a profile on the Scotts revealed that Jonathan Scott "tore out a toilet" several times for the cameras. 


So we decided to take a look at the speculation and answer the question once and for all:

Do the Property Brothers really work on the houses?

RELATED: Who Are The Property Brothers' Parents? Everything To Know About Jim And Joanne Scott​

Drew Scott allegedly does not work as a real estate agent on the show. 


One of the biggest speculations about the Property Brothers is the fact that Drew Scott — who bills himself as a real estate agent on the show — does not actually work with any of the couples or families to close on the house. In reality, while Drew Scott acted like he was a real estate agent closing deals on past episodes of the show, the featured house was usually already closed upon. As Jonathan Scott put it, "it [the show] doesn't work well for people who haven't even started searching." 



A post shared by HGTV (@hgtv) on Jun 21, 2020 at 6:36am PDT

Do the Property Brothers renovate the whole house?


As we've seen several times on Property Brothers and all their spin-off shows, the whole house isn't renovated. Viewers usually see only 3 or 4 fully finished rooms, and that's — pardon the pun — by design. Typically, because the kitchen and the bathroom are the most expensive rooms to have done in the house, homeowners can choose one or the other to have renovated ... but not both. 

They allegedly require a 20% contingency fee. 

What most people perhaps don't realize is that families who go on Property Brothers are responsible for covering the costs of their renovations. And, according to a Reddit thread made by some users who appeared on the show in the past, the Scott's production company requires that participating families put aside a 20% contingency fee to cover any unexpected surprises. So, in other words, if the Brothers quote you a $100,000 renovation, you actually need to put $120,000 to the side in case they open a wall and discover there are issues that require more expensive work.

RELATED: Are The Property Brothers Gay? All Of Your Top Questions — Answered!


Jonathan Scott is a licensed contractor. 

According to his official page on the DIY Network, Jonathan Scott is a licensed contractor. In fact, he and Drew Scott founded Scott Real Estate back in 2004, meaning that he has more than 15 years of experience in the field. 



A post shared by HGTV (@hgtv) on Jul 1, 2020 at 4:35pm PDT

But he's not licensed in every state they film in.


When Jonathan and Drew Scott filmed episodes of Property Brothers in New York, Jonathan only did minor work for the cameras. And there's a reason for that: because he's not licensed as a contractor in the state of New York. In fact, the bulk of the work isn't done by Jonathan Scott — it's done by a team of subcontractors that are local to the area. And they finally admitted that this was the case in their memoir, It Takes Two

Participants don't see as much of the Scott brothers as they make it seem. 

On the show, it's allegedly edited to make it seem like Jonathan and Drew Scott have special and authentic relationships with each of their clients. Segments are even filmed where Jonathan or Drew is shown bonding with the family's children and pets. But, alas, that is not the case. In reality, the show's participants see the Scott brothers only 8 times over the course of 6 weeks — and each of those moments is made for television. 


RELATED: Who Is JD Scott? Everything To Know About The Oldest Property Brother And His Mysterious Illness​

Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, publicist, and photographer whose work has appeared in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post,, and more.