Some May See A Sign In An Impending Disaster But It Won't Be Mine

Real Estate Agent with Allen Tate Realtors Chapel Hill, NC 919-819-8199

I spent the morning checking on all my listings and replanting For Sale signs in their front yards. Since we managed to dodge the bullet that was Hurricane Irene by mere miles I didn't expect to find any terrible damage to the properties I represent in Chapel Hill, Durham and Carrboro. Other than the expected debris, all were safe and sound.

It isn't always that way. Those of us who have lived our entire lives in North Carolina understand that hurricanes are capricious and preparing for them is not optional. We know that these “weather events” can strengthen, subside, change direction or fall apart in short order. So we gather deck furniture, secure loose objects, trim loose limbs, and whatever else we can think of to secure our homes from avoidable damage.

As a professional Realtor I have more than just my personal home to worry about. I speak with my clients, particularly if they have not lived here during a previous storm preparation. I drop by each listing and secure my real estate sign in the garage or other area where it cannot become a projectile. I always cringe when I see pictures of a hurricanes' aftermath showing mangled real estate signs embedded in trees or a roof. My signs will never be in those pictures.Real Estate Signs should be removed in a hurricane

This time, we were not in the hurricanes' direct path. I was happy to spend my morning replanting For Sale signs and reporting the lack of damage to sellers who were not here to check their properties themselves. Real estate professionals are not just “fair weather” friends.

As a meteorologist said on television this morning, science has gotten good at predicting when a hurricane will pass over New York City but still isn't very good at predicting what condition the hurricane will be in when it arrives. That is exactly why we in the hurricane zone prepare for them and why we always will.We were some of the lucky ones this time. Our hearts are with those who weren't so lucky.

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SarahGray Lamm is a licensed, full time, residential real estate professional in the Triangle area of North Carolina with over 100,000 hours of experience. She specializes in serving the real estate needs of home sellers, home buyers and investors in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham and Northern Chatham County and is proudly associated with Allen Tate Realtors, the Carolinas #1 independent realty company.

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Comments (7)

Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen
As you say it is very important to collect your signs prior to a major storm so they do not become flying missiles.
Aug 28, 2011 09:45 AM
Mike Jaquish
Realty Arts - Cary, NC
919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate


I never let go of that little voice of dread in my mind until the hurricane is history.

Remember Hurricane Dennis and the double hit from the figure 8 track in 1999?

Aug 28, 2011 09:59 AM
Pat Fenn
Marketing Specialist for CJ Realty Group/Cindy Jones Broker - Springfield, VA

We went around taking down our signs on Friday before the storm hit.  Tomorrow we will be back out putting them up.  Better be safe than sorry when it comes to flying signs.

Aug 28, 2011 10:48 AM
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

SarahGray, I've never been through a hurricane and am ashamed to say I don't know if I would have thought of pulling up signs.  I know that was a lot of work and I think it was very considerate of you to think about it.

Aug 28, 2011 03:38 PM
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

You must be relieved that you ducked this monster, SarahGray.  I have to laugh at your running around preventing your signs from becoming "projectiles."

Aug 28, 2011 05:59 PM
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA


Glad to know  you escaped unharmed. Having lived in Florida and Long Island, I'm no stranger to hurricanes and their fury. They could truly be terrifying!

As for really is different. Here, we have companies put up large and heavy wood signs. There's no way I could pull, much less, re-plant, those!

Aug 28, 2011 06:52 PM
SarahGray Lamm
Allen Tate Realtors Chapel Hill, NC 919-819-8199 - Chapel Hill, NC
Realtor - 100K Hours of NC Real Estate Experience

Vickie, it's easy enough to do and gives me a chance to check on my listings before and after!

Mike, hmmmm.....actually I have a better recollection of Bonnie followed closely by Fran and the extensive tree damage all over the Triangle! Hard to forget living without power for a week!

Pat, no question about it!

Mona, sadly once you've seen what even a cat 1 hurricane can do you look around for anything that can fly thru the air and yank it!

Jane, very relieved! Projectiles with two metal spikes on the bottom!

Pacita, in many ways I'm glad we have never had to go to those type of signs except on large tracts where the sign will be there fora very long time!

Aug 29, 2011 12:49 AM