Why Did Vanessa Villela Leave 'Selling Sunset'?

The real estate agent and actor left the Oppenheim Group for a rival agency.

vanessa villela in selling sunset season 5
(Image credit: Netflix)

Selling Sunset season 6 has arrived with a significant cast shake-up, with longtime members Maya Vander and Christine Quinn leaving the Oppenheim Group and new members Bre Tiesi and Nicole Young joining the show. Another familiar face that has not returned for the new season is Vanessa Villela, who joined the show in season 4 and became fast friends with Christine. Here's what we know about why Vanessa left Selling Sunset, and what she's been up to in the past year.

Vanessa has rejoined the LA luxury brokerage where she began her career.

Ahead of the Sunset season 6 premiere, Vanessa announced that she has returned to the LA luxury real estate brokerage The Agency, where she began her career. The Agency, which was founded by Mauricio Umansky, is actually the subject of another reality show distributed by Netflix, Buying Beverly Hills

"I am super excited to be back at The Agency. It's where my career started so it feels extremely good to be back. It feels like home," she told People. "I came back because I'm very serious about where I want my real estate career to go. I know that this is where I have to be to succeed in real estate. It felt right, I always missed them. I feel in my heart it's where I belong. The minute I walked in, everyone welcomed me so beautifully."

Buying Beverly Hills has been renewed for a second season, but there's been no word on whether Vanessa will appear on the series. The former Sunset star did tease that she's up for it, saying that The Agency's show is "amazing."

"I didn't come back for that reason, but you have to watch next season to see what happens," she said.

She says that parting ways from 'Selling Sunset' was a "mutual decision."

Vanessa opened up to People about her time on Sunset seasons 4 and 5, saying that leaving the show was a "mutual decision."

"I always felt like I was the new girl in school," she says of her experience on the docusoap, "They're obviously super successful and it's an incredible show, but I have to make my own life and make my dreams come true."

She added that there are "definitely no hard feelings" with the remaining members of the cast. "Obviously you get along really well with some and don't click as well with others, and that's the show," she explained. As for who she's kept in touch with, Vanessa said she and Maya stay in touch a lot, while she also messages "here and there" with Christine. "The rest are super nice, but we are not in contact right now," she said.

She married her boyfriend Nick last fall.

Part of Vanessa's season 5 storyline was focused on her long-distance relationship with photographer Nick Hardy, who famously gifted her a promise ring in the Oppenheim office. The couple got engaged in January 2022 after dating for 25 months, and they tied the knot in September with a "magical and cinematic" ceremony at the Fairmont Del Mar in San Diego, California.

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.