Sonoma real estate agent featured in House Hunters calls experience “excellent”



Sotheby’s Sonoma real estate agent Holly Lee woke up on May 20 to a flood of texts and emails from former Marin County classmates she hadn’t seen since high school.

The gist of the bulk of the messages: “We saw you on TV last night!”

Lee was featured on an episode of the longtime reality show House Hunters featuring Sonoma Valley that aired on HGTV last month.

In this episode, a lonely shopper named Julia (last name withheld) at age 30 “trades bustling San Francisco for Wine Country.” She’s looking for a cottage that has plenty of room to visit with the family, but her best friend Carly thinks a townhouse would be a better fit.

The show was filmed in and around Sonoma City in December 2020. The scene in which Julia discusses her decision with Carly was filmed in “Girl and Fig” in Sonoma Square.

Lee shows Julia three properties on camera: a cottage in Springs near Railroad Avenue, a ranch on Arnold Drive south of Glen Ellen, and a townhouse near HopMonk Tavern on Broadway, a short walk from Sonoma Square.

Lee was caught on camera thanks to a recommendation from another agent. She said that she enjoyed the five days of filming and was impressed by the professionalism of the producers and crew.

This does not mean that the shooting was uninteresting.

“Julia and Carly were so great to work with,” Lee said. “What the show failed to convey was Julia’s big personality and we walked around during filming.”

Lee, who is married to Steve Childs, publisher of Sonoma magazine, which, like The Press Democrat, is owned by Sonoma Media Investments, has been a Sonoma real estate agent for nearly 20 years. She said the hardest part of the process was finding enough viable options to show on camera.

“The inventory in Sonoma was so limited, especially during COVID, that I really had to struggle to find three options that might work for her,” Lee said. “But it worked out great and I really like it when someone is in their first home.”

In the end, Julia chose a townhouse that is within walking distance of Sonoma Plaza.

Contact Lorna Sheridan at


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