Lyndsay Lamb And Leslie Davis Open Up About HGTV’s Unsellable Houses – Exclusive Interview

Lyndsay Lamb And Leslie Davis Open Up About HGTV’s Unsellable Houses – Exclusive Interview

They say home is where the heart is, and there is no one who better embodies this than the lovable sisters on Unsellable Houses, Lyndsay Lamb and Leslie Davis. The warm-hearted and spunky identical twins are the charming hosts of the unique home renovation series, now in its second season on HGTV. The premise of the show, which is based in the ladies’ home in the Pacific Northwest, is that sellers reach out to them with a house deemed “unsellable,” and the sisters, who launched Lamb Real Estate together in 2009, come in and access what needs to be changed and invest their own money towards the home’s makeover. Once the pair lends their magical touches and proves that two (identical) heads are better than one, the house is quickly snatched up by eager buyers. After the women take back the money they put in, the profit from the sale of the home is split between the seller and the sisters, so it’s a win-win situation that is double the fun to watch unfold on screen.

Growing up, they shared a bedroom when they didn’t have to, and they continued being inseparable in their personal lives, even both marrying their high school sweethearts. So, as adults, it was inevitable that they would eventually team up in their professional lives as well. Although they are so much alike, their differences Lyndsay is an expert in home renovation, design, and staging, and Leslie is a pro with budgets and negotiations  balance each other out and create the perfect formula for success. And even though they admit to being short with each other occasionally, their deep bonds of sisterhood always prevail. This is apparent on Unsellable Houses, where their witty banter and palpable chemistry radiate through the television. They not only sell the houses in record time, but have viewers smiling along with them as they apply each coat of paint, lay down every colorful tile, and install all hardware as a devoted team.

The List spoke to the dynamic duo just before the premiere of their show’s second season. The ladies  who have the ability to finish each other’s sentences, as well as respond with the same words at the same time  dished on their uncanny twintuition, on-set secrets, and how the brand they built is a true testament to their love for one another.

This is how Lyndsay and Leslie balance each other out

I have three sisters, so can relate to your relationship. On your website, it mentioned how you shared a room even when you didn’t have to. And that was the same with us too; we never wanted to separate our bedrooms. What are the positives and negatives to working with your sister?

Leslie: Lyndsay and I are together 24/7, even before we worked together. Just like sharing our bedrooms when we grew up. I think we even were together the night before her wedding and shared a bed. I mean, we’ve always been inseparable. Other than our honeymoons, I think we have not spent more than maybe 10, 15 days apart. So we just are really close and we get each other; we annoy each other. Already this morning, we’ve had to shut our door. And one of us, I won’t say which one, had to apologize to the other one for being short and snippy.

We definitely still have our quick-shorted moments with each other, but we just really get each other and understand how to communicate. And I think it’s 40 years of a partnership. We have people ask us all the time how we make this work, and it’s like, this is a longer relationship than our spouses. And we’ve both been married 20 years. So it’s a relationship that you really can’t describe. And you get that having sisters. I mean, it’s one [relationship] that is really difficult to copy.

So how do you balance one another out?

Lyndsay: Gosh, that’s a good question. I would say we balance each other out because we really… Gosh, how do we balance each other out? I mean, I’m more of a spender.

Leslie: Oh my gosh. Absolutely. She spends money. She literally just looked at me and asked if she could buy a new tablet as we were waiting for you guys to get on our call. And I just gave her a look, and she goes, “Oh, okay. Nope, we’ll wait. We’ll wait.” So she definitely likes to spend money and I keep her more in line. I like to keep the money in the bank. So we definitely balance each other out very well.

Lyndsay: But then on the flip side, I’m the one that’s constantly pushing us to grow. We’re moving forward all the time. I’m the one that is always saying, “Well, what if we do this with our business or what if we take it here or what if we do this?” I’m the one that’s pushing, pushing, pushing, and sometimes shoving Leslie off the cliff with me as we try new things. So I think we balance each other because I’m a lot more risky and I’m more of a visionary and a dreamer and a little bit more of that free spirit. And Leslie’s a lot more conservative and she plays the game real well. She’s in her lane. She likes that comfort. And I’m just a lot more of that wild spirit.

The ladies "definitely" have twin intuition and know what the other is thinking constantly

Do you have twin intuition?

Leslie: Oh. Oh. Yeah. Yes. Definitely. I mean, we don’t even have to talk. It’s like creepy, and people around us hate it. If we’re at a hangout, we are not allowed on the same team because we will dominate. We don’t even have to communicate and we’re communicating. We know what each other [is] thinking constantly. So we read each other’s mind. We can communicate just with our body language or our eyes. I always know what she’s thinking. Always, a hundred percent. I don’t even have to guess; I know what’s in her head.

How do you think that affects your work and the show?

Lyndsay: I would say it affects our work because we just can get a lot more done in the sense that we don’t have to talk through every single detail of everything we’re doing. Or if we’re trying something new, we both are on the same page a lot quicker of knowing if it’s failing, or if it’s succeeding, or what direction to take things. Because we just communicate really well that way. And we also tend to know what the other one… What direction they want to take it. So that makes it so that we don’t waste a lot of time in decision-making, or we don’t waste a lot of time when it comes to just moving forward in the day, just daily tasks.

So I would say when it comes to the show… what’s beneficial to that is we both are very good at knowing what our strengths are. And Leslie really stays in her lane of her strengths and I stay in my lane of my strengths. And we still complement each other and challenge each other a lot. I’ll push on her and she pushes on me. And exactly what you see in the show is really our life. We push on each other constantly. But I feel like that’s the way that we have built this successful business and built this successful … brand is because we really do challenge each other and we accept the challenge from each other.

Their real estate business was born after they went through a difficult time together

So as far as your career path, when did you both know that you would go into real estate?

Lyndsay: So I got into real estate a few years before Leslie did. And I just knew I wanted to get into it. I was a marketing director for a couple of years, loved just the challenge of just trying to figure out how to set products apart and really the challenge of marketing a piece, a product, whatever that was. And I felt like I could do that with homes, so I got into the business of real estate. Leslie then joined me a couple years later. Actually, my son had gotten sick; he had cancer. And so I had kind of pulled back a little bit. She knew I loved my business. I loved what I had built in a short period of time. So she jumped in and said, “Hey, let me get my license. Let me help you keep this going while you’re taking care of Miles,” who’s my son.

So she got her license very quickly and jumped right in. Just helped keep the business going while I was taking care of Miles, going through chemotherapy and radiation and everything. Then by the time Miles got healthy and was doing well and I got back into it full-time, she was like, “Hey, I actually kind of love this, and I think I’m pretty good at it.” And then her and I just… It was like a powerhouse, the two of us together. And the business just exploded from that point forward. With the two of us together, it was like, forget it. You can’t hold us back. We just started building business, after business, after business and we loved it.

Oh my gosh, that’s such a nice story. I’m so happy that your son’s okay.

Lyndsay: Yeah, it was a pretty incredible experience. I think it’s just a testament to how much Leslie and I really do love and care for each other. The fact that she just jumped in and really saved this business. And knew that this was something that was so important to me, but knew I needed to focus on taking care of Miles.

This is the unique way these reality starlets got discovered

So producers discovered you from your carpool karaoke-type YouTube videos. What made you start filming those?

Leslie: I think Lyndsay and I are just fun personalities. We love having fun with people. And real estate can be such a stressful process, and we know that because we’ve bought houses and the agent that we worked with really tried to make it enjoyable. And so when Lyndsay got into real estate and then when I joined her, we really wanted to make buying and selling something that people could enjoy. And we could take some of that stress off of the process for them. So one day, back in the day when we used to drive people around… In this day and age, you can’t so much, but we would drive people around and listen to music. And one day we thought, “Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if we recorded this and made a little video of showing people homes?”

And it just kind of turned into a fun little thing, and we did several videos of different songs of us driving people around. And we would force them to dance with us, and there were these men that would hate it and we would get such a kick out of making them dance. We would get people that would just love doing it, and we would take them through drive-throughs and get ice cream cones. Once they felt comfortable and loose and not so worried about the process, then they would trust us and feel comfortable buying from us. So it was just kind of a technique in getting people to kind of let loose and trust us and feel comfortable making this big decision with us really helping them through the process.

How Unsellable Houses came to be

Where were you when you first got the call from production, and were you immediately interested?

Leslie: Actually, I think… I think, were we in your dining room?

Lyndsay: Yeah.

Leslie: Yeah. We were sitting at Lyndsay’s dining room table. And [High Noon Entertainment] is our production company, and they called and just said, “Hey, we saw this car karaoke video of you guys. Would you guys be interested in talking to us? We’d be interested in seeing if you guys would be a good fit for a TV show.” And we thought it was a joke. And we said, “Oh, sure, why not?” And we did a Zoom call with them. It’s not a quick process, so we had that Zoom call and then a couple of weeks or maybe a month went by and we didn’t hear anything. And then all of a sudden they contacted us and said, “Oh, now we want to make a video of us talking to you.” Another couple months went by, and they said, “Oh, now we want to come out and film you guys just doing everyday life.” And then another couple months went by.

So every time we would hear from them, we were like, “You know what? Let’s just see what the next step is; let’s just walk through the door and let’s see if this is something we can do.” We didn’t really put a lot of eggs in the basket or really think about it much. We just kind of walked through each step as it came. And if it worked in our schedule and in the lifestyle that we had with raising the kids, everything, and our jobs, then we were like, “Yeah, let’s do it.” It always seemed to be the right timing at the right place. So yeah, it worked out just as it was supposed to.

Unsellable Houses' stars share the biggest mistake sellers make

What are some of the biggest mistakes people make when selling a house and what makes a home unsellable?

Leslie: There are a lot of things that can make a house unsellable. I would say one of the biggest mistakes and the easiest mistake to make when selling a house is not taking the time to properly stage and photograph a house. Especially in today’s day and age, everybody is making their decision online and often on their phone, which is this tiny little screen to make a decision with, in a split second. And if you don’t get that consumer, get that buyer interested in your property in those first 20 seconds, they’re going to move on to the next property. So you have a very short amount of time to get them interested.

So I think a lot of people think they can just take pictures and put [them] up and people will be interested, but so often you miss the mark. And there’s nothing harder in real estate than coming back from a listing that’s been on the market and is stagnant and stale. Because everybody thinks that there’s something wrong. They have a preconceived idea that your house must be damaged or something’s wrong with it, that it’s been sitting there for that long. So I think not marketing it and not presenting it well is one of the biggest mistakes people make.

So talk about staging a home because I thought that was really interesting in the show. Sometimes you went into the house and it was empty, and you really stress to the sellers the need to stage before showing. Why is that so important?

Lyndsay: I would say why it’s so important to stage the house is… the majority of buyers that we work with really cannot, genuinely cannot envision how to use a space. And so when we talk about staging on the show, we’re really talking about showing a buyer how to use a space or how they could use that space. Plus staging a home can be a very emotional… It can have a very emotional effect on a buyer.

So when they walk into a home and it’s vacant, they’re just looking at walls; they’re looking at empty space. If they have that creativity in their body, they can envision maybe what the space could look like or how they could use it. But when a buyer walks into a home… most of them don’t have that ability to envision a space. And they see a dining room table that’s set with beautiful dishes, or a couch that looks all cozy and maybe there’s a basket of toys sitting next to the couch, they really walk in and immediately feel like, “Oh my goodness, this is where my family could spend time or I can be entertaining around this dining room table” or whatever it is. So it becomes incredibly emotional for the buyer. As well as, we’re showing them exactly how they can use the space. So it’s really important that a space be shown to a buyer.

The ladies learned these behind-the-scenes secrets about reality TV

You both got a crash course in filming reality TV. What are some things that surprised you in the process?

Leslie: I think, for me, probably one of the things that I did not realize is how many clothes I would have to have because I’m not big into clothes. They want you to look different, not like it’s the same day constantly. So I’ve had to embrace buying clothes, which is not my normal. Lyndsay loves to buy clothes.

Lyndsay: But honestly, truth be told, I bought clothes and then she just would come to my house and pick through my closet.

Leslie: You got to, man. You got to definitely invest some money into some new wardrobe for sure.

Lyndsay: I felt like I already had it… I loved that part of it. I thought that part was awesome. I was like, “This is awesome. I get to use everything that’s already in my closet. And I get to change my outfit four times a day… I’m living my dream right now.”

What are some behind-the-scenes little glimpses you can give us into how it’s filmed? I read that you said a lot of hours go into it, more than you obviously see on TV.

Leslie and Lyndsay: [at the same time] Oh, yeah.

Leslie: I would say in the hour this year, it’s something like six… What do they call it? Six… What do they call them? “Themes,” or…

Lyndsay: Oh, yeah. What do they call those “blocks” or six… Whatever. I don’t know.

Leslie: Yeah, there’s six sections to the show. When you have commercials through them or whatever… And I bet you we probably filmed 20 for each episode. So there’s a lot of filming that’s never… there’s a lot of filming that they never use for whatever reason. It either wasn’t… It didn’t make sense to the storyline or it was redundant. They didn’t find it entertaining when they were putting the show together. So they end up using it for just advertising or something. So if we’re filming an hour or if it’s an hour episode, I would say we probably film…

Lyndsay: 15.

Leslie: Yeah. Maybe 15, 20 hours for that show, I mean, would be my guess.

How fans have responded to Unsellable Houses

You filmed this season during COVID, right?

Lyndsay: Yes, we did. And it actually was quite interesting the way that they had that set up. So we lived kind of in a little pod of just our crew. So we would be tested a couple of times a week. Leslie and I could be together, but the rest of the crew, we were really pretty set back from. Every time we broke from a scene, we would put back on our approved masks and… we couldn’t eat at the table together, there was no one allowed at the restaurants… It was just a lot different than Season 1, but thankfully we stayed safe the entire time. Nobody on the crew got sick. It was a different experience, but it seemed to go incredibly smooth given everything that’s going on right now.

The show’s first season premiered in February of last year, right? What feedback have you been getting from fans? 

Lyndsay: Yes. We’ve been getting awesome feedback. A lot of great questions from fans just saying, “I saw this on the show, can you explain how you did it?” or “I’d love to know the DIY behind how you put this hood together,” or a fireplace or something like that. “Could you explain how you did that?” So we helped a lot of people just kind of spruce up spaces across the country. After they saw an episode, they want[ed] to know paint colors, the materials or things like that. So that’s been really fun. Or in our town  our town is under 10,000 people here, so it’s a fairly small town — people have been really, really great about it. We see a lot of people around town, they say… “You’re representing the homeowners so well and it looks so beautiful on TV. Thank you so much”… So it’s going really well.

Let’s talk about the new season. I know the episodes are longer and your families are in it more. You met your husbands in high school, right?

Lyndsay: Yeah.

Do your families help out behind the scenes?

Lyndsay: Yeah. So it’s just fun stuff, showing more of our family. So for example, one of the episodes, you get to see Leslie and I teaching our 15-year-old boys who are about to turn 16 how to drive these buses. So that’s a really cute scene. … Between Leslie and I, there’s four boys. So you just get to see life with our four sons and our husbands. In one episode, the husbands have a birthday, Leslie gets a puppy…

And you also have a retail store now and that’s featured in the episodes, right?

Lyndsay: Correct. Yep. You get to see the business as a whole grow. So opening up a retail store, working more with design clients. A lot more of just the business as a whole growing.

Season 2 of Unsellable Houses premieres Tuesday, March 30 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV.

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