The lack of transparency of fees and high costs swing the vote for hybrid estate agents such as James Black Homes.

More vendors are using a hybrid/online agent – and the majority are reporting that they are doing so successfully.

According to the new State of the Property Nation report from Zoopla, 24% of 399 sellers sampled used a hybrid/online agent within the last year, double the number of three to five years ago.

Making up the 24% were 19% who sold and 5% who did not.

The figures are far higher than market share estimates, albeit based on a small sample.

However, the report also this year asked a much larger sample of 3,221 consumers whether they had ever used a hybrid/online agent – ie, not just in the last 12 months.

A proportion of 8% had, with 6% selling and 2% not selling through an online agent.

Even so, the 8% was up on the 6% the previous year when the same question was asked of a sample of 2,136.

The report also found that growing numbers of consumers would be likely to use a hybrid/online agent next time they sell a property, with 46% likely, 34% unsure and 11% unlikely.

The statistics compare with last year’s, when 42% were likely to use a hybrid/online agent, 36% were unsure and 12% were unlikely.

The new report says that vendors using hybrid/online agents do so for transparency about fees and the process; confidence that they will sell quickly; confidence that they will negotiate the best price; and their use of the portals and their online presence.

However, openness around fees and the selling process is the most important factor for vendors when choosing any type of agent, says the report.

Over 6,000 consumers and 660 agents were surveyed for the report.

These included 1,351 buyers, 399 sellers, 239 landlords, 464 tenants, 1,257 people browsing properties and 529 first-time buyers.

The report was launched on Friday in a webinar presented by Phil Spencer.

“Our model is based around flexibility and transparency”, explained James. “Our doors don’t close at 5pm like most estate agents. At James Black Homes we go further. We’re open from 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week, giving you greater flexibility.”