The definition of a service fee or brokers fee in real estate is a flat fee paid to a real estate agent or broker in addition to the commission for the sale or purchase. This is to cover the cost of several auxiliary services that the real estate agent or broker provides after the transaction has been completed between all parties.
The services provided vary but can include the procurance of title insurance, verifying that the title for the property is taken care of in a suitable manner, and other such matters. The fee usually reflects the cost that goes into resolving these matters, and as such is usually a fair charge for the completion of your transaction.
Sal is the owner of a very successful pizza parlor in the downtown area of his city. With hundreds of customers visiting daily to try his famous pizza recipe, Sal has managed to save a decent sum of money that he hopes to use to open another pizza restaurant at another location. After finding a suitable location and realtor, Sal is ready to go ahead with the purchase.
Sal goes ahead with inspecting the property to make sure it is suitable for his purposes and then happily agrees to close the deal and make the property his own. After some haggling on the price, the two parties settle on a mutually agreeable arrangement and go forward with the purchase. Papers are signed, and Sal is about to become the new owner.
Once all the necessary paperwork has been completed, the gross and net sales prices are calculated. In addition to the 5% commission charged by his real estate agent, Sal is informed that he must also pay his realtor an additional $400 service fee in order to ensure that everything is in order for the purchase.