We believe our offering to sellers is the best there is. Not only do we have many years experience of selling homes in your area but we also have cutting edge technology and marketing programs to help you get the best possible price in a time scale that fits with your needs.
- Independently run local business
- Inclusion in our high quality in house magazines and e-zines
- Latest technology working to sell your home
- Ongoing updates from our friendly staff
- Local & National advertising & PR
- Aerial photograph, street location and driving directions
- Immediate inclusion on the Black Sea International website
- High quality brochures
- Backing of a member agent of the Property Ombudsman Service
- Have your home appear on some of the country's biggest property websites including Zoopla
We believe this to be very important when you are trying to achieve the best possible price for your property. Once you have selected your own asking price our advertising is set up to be comprehensive. We aim to show your property to as many buyers as possible, as regularly as possible. By doing this we can ensure that every buyer currently looking to purchase will know about your property.
As a London resident you are no doubt aware that professional buyers and buyers in general, now have internet access and will use this as a primary method to search for a property. We want to ensure that these buyers have instant access to your property on demand over a range of different websites. If buyers are using their computers/mobile devises then we will almost certainly receive their details as a house buyer. Our websites include:
Our website has been designed to reflect the London market and offer an action packed portal which will make buyers want to revisit regularly.
All of our websites allow for instant phone contact, viewing requests and email the Estate Agent facilities.
Strong advertising is all well and good but you need an Estate Agent with good customer service and sales skills to ensure viewings and buyers are not lost.
We are committed to ensuring our vendors are fully up to date, regularly, with progress and our buyers receive property details on a consistent basis. Listed are some of the ways we can ensure a good relationship with both our vendors and buyers.
Emails, SMS Messaging and Mail Outs
When a buyer registers their details with us they now have a range of choices as to how they can receive property details. Emails and SMS Text messaging allow instant updates immediately when your property becomes available. Sending out details will also take place to anyone who prefers the post. This process is continued on a weekly basis to ensure maximum exposure for your property.
Marketing updates for our vendors
Vendors should be spoken to about their property's success regularly. A vendor should not be at home pondering if their agent is doing a good job. We will contact you by phone to give you a full update on progress at least by-weekly and as regularly as you need. Understanding the property market is the most important part of the selling process so we need to be available to help.
You will receive a phone call with the response from your buyers the day after a viewing has taken place. This ensures that you know how buyers view your property in keys areas such as locations, condition and price but above all how you fair against your competition.
Once an offer has been received a full description of your buyers' position will be given to you to help you make the right choices.
Our job doesn't finish when a sale has been agreed. We will update you on all key stages of your sale all the way up to completion.
Money Laundering Policy
Black Sea International Limited Policy Statement
Black Sea International Limited is committed to ensuring that it has adequate controls to counter money laundering activities and terrorist financing activities, in line with the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.
Risk sensitive policies and procedures must be established in order to anticipate and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.
A risk sensitive or risk-based approach is where businesses assess the risk of customers laundering money through their business. Businesses may take the starting point that most customers will not launder money but will identify criteria that would indicate a higher risk of money laundering – e.g. where there is no face-to-face meeting to establish identity.
Black Sea International Limited is committed to staff training in anti-money laundering legislation and this is also covered as a part of the Induction training courses held in our office.
Black Sea International Limited has a Money Laundering Reporting Officer whose responsibility is to receive internal reports and to refer them the Group Money Laundering Reporting Officer as appropriate. The group MLRO is based at the Office, who will forward reports to National Crime Agency as necessary.
Adherence to the “Due Diligence” identification procedures on every occasion will mitigate the risks of the business being used to launder money or fund terrorism.
All vendors and purchasers must be identified fully with two forms of ID, evidence of identity being photographic and also evidence of residence e.g. a utility bill dated in the last three months. Other sources of customer information include the electoral register and information held by credit reference agencies such as Equifax.
Should a face to face meeting not take place then enhanced due diligence procedures will need to be adopted by asking for additional information or evidence to establish the customer's identity, and ensuring that the documents supplied are certified. It would also be prudent to ensure that the first payment is made to a bank account in the customer's name.
If the verification of the customer's identity is done by documents this should be based on:
A government issued document with the customer's full name and photo with either the customer's date of birth or residential address such as:
- Valid passport
- Valid photocard driving licence
- National identity card
- Firearms certificate
A government issued document (without a photo) which includes the customer's full name and supported by secondary evidence:
- Old style driving licence
- Recent evidence of entitlement to state or local authority-funded benefit such as housing benefit, council tax benefit, pension, tax credits
Supported by secondary evidence such as
- A utility bill
- Bank or building society statement
- Most recent mortgage statement from a recognised lender
For customers other than private individuals
For customers who are not private individuals, such as corporate customers and private companies, the business must obtain information that is relevant e.g. company registration number, registered address and evidence that the individuals have the authority to act for the company – a search at Companies House will reveal details of directors and company secretary.
Enhanced due diligence (PEP's)
In some situations you must carry out 'enhanced due diligence'. These situations are:
- when the customer isn't physically present when you carry out identification checks
- when you enter into a business relationship with a 'politically exposed person' - typically, a politically exposed person is an overseas member of parliament, a head of state or government or a government minister (note that a UK politician isn't a politically exposed person)
- any other situation where there's a higher risk of money laundering
The enhanced due diligence measures for customers who aren't physically present and other higher risk situations are broadly the same and include:
- obtaining further information to establish the customer's identity
- applying extra measures to check documents supplied by a credit or financial institution
- making sure that the first payment is made from an account that was opened with a credit institution in the customer's name
- finding out where funds have come from and what the purpose of the transaction is (higher risk situations only)
The enhanced due diligence measures when you deal with a politically exposed person are:
- making sure that only senior management gives approval for a new business relationship
- taking adequate measures to establish where the person's wealth and the funds involved in the business relationship come from
- carrying out stricter ongoing monitoring of the business relationship
Suspicious Activity Reporting
A report should be made if a member of staff/ the nominated officer thinks that there is a possibility, which is more than fanciful, that a person is or has been engaged in money laundering or terrorist financing.
The report should be made to the Office Money Laundering Reporting Officer who, should they be satisfied that there are grounds to suspect money laundering or terrorism, must forward a report to the Group MLRO, at the Office as soon as is practicable.
What is Suspicious Activity?
This list is by no means exhaustive.
- Reluctance to provide details of their identity
- Customer is trying to use intermediaries to hide their identity or involvement
- There appears to be no genuine reason for the customer using the business's services
- Money is paid by a third party who does not appear to be connected with the customer
- The customer requests payment to a third party who has no apparent connection with the customer
- A cash transaction is unusually large and the customer will not disclose the source of funds.
- A transaction is carried out for less than market value with an unconnected person
Should a report be made then it is important that this fact, and any information about the transaction in question, is kept confidential.
The following records are required to be kept for 5 years:
- Copies of, or references to, the evidence obtained of a customer's identity for five years after the end of the customer relationship, or five years from the date when the transaction was completed.
- Supporting records relating to a customer relationship or occasional transaction for five years from the date when the transaction was completed.
The purpose for keeping these records is to demonstrate the business's compliance with the regulations and to aid any resulting investigations.
This information has been taken from and condensed from the OFT Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and HMRC Anti-Money Laundering Core guidance issued under Crown Copyright 2007.
Unexplained Wealth Order, March 2018
From 31 January 2018, UK authorities can apply to the Courts for an Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) to require a person to explain and account for the origins of their income assets. Unexplained Wealth Orders are requested where there is a substantive concern that assets have been acquired from the proceeds of serious crime and where assets owned by a person are inconsistent with their income. It is highly unlikely that the average wealthy person will ever receive an Unexplained Wealth Order.
On the 25th of June 2015 the European Union updated the European Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures with the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive. All EU member states had to comply with this new directive by 26 June 2017. The UWO should be seen as an extension of the Directive specifically formulated to combat serious crime. It applies to all nationalities, including those who are British by birth. It is expected that all EU member states and other regions will adopt similar provisions in the near term. These enhanced AML procedures are primarily to focus on ultimate beneficial ownership and enhanced customer due diligence (CDD). The procedure, also expand the definition of a politically exposed person (PEP).
An Unexplained Wealth Order SOLE aims to only confiscate the proceeds of crime. The UWO uses civil powers instead of criminal powers. The power is part of the Criminal Finances Act 2017 and was introduced to seize Proceeds of Crime. It does NOT target individuals from any one country or region.
PROCEDURES & APPLICATION
To apply for a UWO a government agency has to fully comply with both, the due process of law, and with the Human Rights Act with particular reference to Article 6, which protects a person's right to a fair trial and Article 8 which protects the right to privacy.
In applying for a UWO the concern is wholly and solely with the proceeds of crime. In this it is understood that for some wealth was made in times of significant geopolitical disruption. Additionally, in other countries and regions cash is still the defacto means of exchange even for very high value items. As long as this wealth, and the income arising from it, has been created through genuine business opportunities or legitimate gifts the UWO will have no bearing on the individual.
PREPARATION / PROTECTION
To address any concerns that non-domiciled individuals and families have the following steps should be followed:
- A precise summary should be prepared of the background and as to how wealth has been acquired.
- Where ever possible and where records exist the significant events that helped to establish the wealth or secure the income should be evidenced with copies of key documents.
- Where possible have third party support for these events from accountants, lawyers, other independent professional parties or professional colleagues.
It is important that this summary is professionally prepared in a format that complies with the English legal system, with supporting documentation correctly annotated. Once prepared several copies of the whole should be sworn and notarised.
With the introduction of the UWO it is to be expected that businesses selling high value items will start to want to have some form of verification as to the source of funds.
Accordingly those that own, or are about to sell or acquire significant assets should anticipate an enquiry as to the source of wealth.
The UWO is an administrative exercise where there is a real suspicion of crime. By properly assisting an enquiry the person validates their innocence.
If a UWO is received a statement explaining the background to the wealth or asset must be provided within a time specified by the court. If the respondent fails to reply or comply with the UWO they can presume then guilt can be assumed. It is important that origins of wealth are well prepared and replies are made and/or challenges made.
Please contact our office for further information.
Black Sea International is a member of The Property Ombudsman Scheme for Residential Sales Agents and will comply with the Scheme's Code of Conduct (full details can be found at www.tpos.co.uk).