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Some realtors are hiring actors to play “neighbors” in areas where few houses are selling and the streets are empty, according to an April 1, 2009 Marketplace story.

A Marketplace reporter interviewed Mark Suckerman, a new homebuyer who saw residents “barbecuing next door when he came to the open house,” and “even met them when he came back for a weekend tour.” Then he plunked down close to $500,000 on a new home and never saw the friendly people the next lawn over ever again…

Thankfully, the “actors” were really acting themselves because the story wasn’t true—-It was an April Fool’s Day joke believed by a whole slew of listeners, including a Washington City Paper employee who will go unmentioned here. The sad thing is how truly plausible this scenario seems.

As one commenter wrote, “It was only when I relayed the story to my 13 year old daughter that she picked it as an April Fools Day prank.You truly made my day.”

Image by voxphoto, Flickr Creative Commons