The future of home buyers and sellers has been thrown into disarray as a billion-dollar verdict looms in a dispute over the patenting of trade secrets related to real estate transactions. The dispute is between the Zillow Group, which owns a number of popular real estate websites, and Move, Inc., which runs Realtor.com. Last October, the two companies were hit with a $1.8 billion jury verdict in favor of Move, which accused Zillow of violating its trade secrets. The verdict has been appealed and is now in the hands of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The outcome of the appeals process has put future home buyers and sellers in a difficult position, as they wait for a verdict that could drastically alter the real estate landscape. As the two companies continue to battle in court, many worry that the verdict, regardless of which way it goes, could profoundly impact the real estate market in the U.S. For home buyers, the jury verdict could mean hastily raised prices or fewer options, as either brokerages or agents decide to leave the market in search of more favorable terms. For home sellers, if the verdict goes against Zillow, it could lead to less marketing power for their listings, as Zillow’s ability to attract attention is diminished. Either way, the outcome of the verdict will have far-reaching implications for the real estate market, as the two companies’ grip over the industry’s technology and information becomes even more pronounced. The lowers courts have yet to issue a ruling on the matter, and in the meantime home buyers and sellers are in a state of purgatory. Despite the uncertainty, consumers continue to take the plunge into real estate transactions, and the hope is that the verdict will form an equitable footing for the industry to stand on moving forward. As the matter awaits its day in court, home buyers and sellers will have to sit tight and wait for the verdict to come down.