PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A federal jury in Missouri found the National Association of Realtors liable for artificially inflating commissions and awarded plaintiffs $1.8 billion in damages.

Oregon Realtors’ incoming 2024 president Ashleigh Fordham told KOIN 6 that the class action lawsuit could mean additional paperwork to clarify what agents will do for their clients.

“There is a higher level of communication that’s required when it comes to the nuance of how a transaction is facilitated and how payment is made for any commissions and services rendered,” Fordham said.

Here’s how that works: With a $500,000 home, the seller agrees to pay a commission – typically 5-6% percent of the home’s selling price – which is then split between the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent. Sellers have to commission for homes to be included in the multiple listing service.

The court found the current commission model makes it difficult for sellers and buyers to negotiate lower fees at a time when technology makes it easy for anyone to access real estate listings online.

Jeremy Rogers, a general counsel with the Oregon Realtors, added that “the cooperative compensation model has tremendous benefit to sellers and buyers and there has never been any amount of compensation that needs to be offered.”

The National Association of Realtors said it plans to appeal the verdict.