The ongoing lawsuits and investigation into U.S. industry practices could alter how buyer’s agents make money on the typical home sale, panelists said earlier this month at Inman Connect Las Vegas.

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For many agents, it’s a grim cloud that looms on the horizon.

The Department of Justice for years has set its sights on unraveling the standard U.S. industry practice of splitting commissions from home sales between agents on the listing side and the buyer’s side.

Earlier this month at Inman Connect in Las Vegas, Brian Boero of consulting firm 1000watt said that if a series of lawsuits and a DOJ investigation into National Association of Realtors practices succeed, it wouldn’t be an apocalypse for the industry, but more of “a happy reckoning.” Buyer’s agents, however, would be most exposed to the fallout, he added.

Brian Beoro (left) and Bernice Ross discuss the implications for the real estate industry if legal challenges of agent compensations upend longstanding practices at Inman Connect Las Vegas. (Photo by AJ Canaria of Moxiworks)

Approximately half of the $80 billion in annual commissions paid by sellers could be at risk, real estate analyst Mike DelPrete said during another Inman Connect discussion.

But that doesn’t mean buyer’s side agents would no longer be compensated.

Watch Beoro discuss what the new landscape might look like with real estate coach Bernice Ross in the video at the top of this page.

Email Daniel Houston

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