Maya Vander has nowhere to go but forward.
The powerhouse real estate agent turned reality star from the Netflix series “Selling Sunset” is in the midst of a major life recalibration after the tragic loss of her third child, a stillborn.
The show, which just filmed its fifth season, features Vander and her real estate broker castmates, Christine Quinn, Chrishell Stause, Mary Fitzgerald, Davina Potratz and Heather Rae El Moussa. But after the year she’s had, Vander told The Post she’s not sure if she has it in her for another season.
Family is more important than ever before for Vander, whose husband and two children live in Miami, far from the hustle of the show’s LA market. And with her new independent brokerage getting off the ground, she’s prioritizing her life in the Sunshine State over the dramatic reality show.
“Just because of the logistics, going back and forth, and my kids. I kind of got away with it for Season 4 and 5, but it’s been tough, too,” Vander explained.
The blank slate will be something of a distraction from the trauma she still deals with every day, the 39-year-old told The Post.
“I know I have no choice but [to go] back to work and my old routine,” Vander said. “That being said, it’s been difficult to still process and seek answers.”
The family still doesn’t know why their son Mason didn’t make it. Vander found out about the stillbirth on Dec. 9, 2021, just weeks before he was due. As they await the autopsy results, they’re processing their grief in therapy.
“We go every Friday to the cemetery to visit our son,” she said. “Life is great, but unfortunately, [it’s] not always perfect — not always fair.”
Vander, who hopes to get pregnant again in the new year, has also been open about the experience of losing her son.
“I hope that me sharing my very personal experience with stillbirth helped other women just knowing they are not alone,” she said.
In the meantime, she’s setting her sights on her career. She started her own firm, Maya Vander Group, and has launched a real estate course.
“I want to show people how they can get into the business and inspire people to follow their dream,” Vander said. “My business in Miami is really doing well. I started my own team here. I have a few girls that work with me. And the market in Miami is great.”
Before she built her empire, Vander moved to the US from Israel when she was just 20 years old, following an American guy she had met while traveling.
“I followed him for love, and it didn’t work out,” Vander told The Post. “I was heartbroken and it was around the time I got my real estate license. And I took a chance. Everything happens for a reason.”
Six years ago, Vander joined the “Selling Sunset” brokerage, the Oppenheim Group, as the firm’s first female agent. She met the group’s founder, Jason Oppenheim, through mutual friends after knocking on people’s doors in the Hills looking for homes to sell.
“He had just opened the office at Sunset Plaza. In LA, everybody knows each other. So one day he actually approached me, and said, ‘Hey, do you want to come work at my brokerage? I just opened it.’”
When she decided to join, there were just three people at the firm, including his brother Brett Oppenheim. Heather Rae El Moussa was the next woman to join. Christine Quinn then came aboard with her ex boyfriend — Peter Cornell — who was at the center of the most recent season’s drama. Then, Mary Fitzgerald, who had been dating Jason at the time, got her license and joined the firm.
When the show was first picked up by Netflix, Vander had just relocated to Miami with her husband, David Miller.
“Once we relocated, we started filming three months later. And I basically rented a place in LA and flew back and forth,” she explained.
Vander is fortunate that Season 4 and 5 were shot back-to-back, which made it easier. But for Season 6, she has no plans of returning as a full cast member.
As the show became a commercial success, Vander had already given birth to two children, and she was on the fence on what to do. After all, flying back and forth between the West and East Coasts every week was not ideal.
“I cannot be an absentee mom.”
But that’s not the only reason she may not return, she said. Vander also revealed that she wasn’t happy with the direction the last few seasons have gone, showing her as someone who was the “instigator” between Quinn and Stause’s drama.
“I love Season 1, because they do show equal airtime with each of us, both personalized and the real estate aspect of it, which, you know, we are real estate agents. So I love that they show both aspects in Season 1.”
Vander pegged Quinn as the “perfect character for reality TV,” as she provides the “drama, fashion, funny lines” and understands why she was at the center in the latest season.
“But in Season 4, it would’ve been nice covering more real estate, and showing more of the drama of real estate. This business is not just making a phone [call] or selling a house over the phone. It takes more than that. We have very emotional sellers and buyers.”
“It was entertaining but . . . there are seven other women in that show that do real estate,” she said. “Frankly, I don’t really care about the drama.”
Meanwhile, Vander can’t reveal too much of her private life, although she wants to, adding that because her husband has a job in finance, he can’t be associated with a reality show.
“That is another thing that works against me. I cannot share too much of my personal stuff that would ruin my husband,” she explained. “I would love to show my kids, but flying with two children under age 2 in a COVID environment, I unfortunately couldn’t do it.”
Plus, she said, the finished product wasn’t always worth the hassle of leaving her life behind.
“I found that I flew just for people to see one line in the back of the office.”
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