How to Complete a 1031 Exchange

Robert 'Rusty' Tweed

May 23, 2022

A 1031 exchange allows an investor to trade property without triggering a sudden tax obligation. For example, if an investor sold a property that was worth $1 million and bought a new one for $2 million, they could avoid a tax obligation by using the 1031 exchange to swap their real estate properties. To be eligible for a 1031 exchange, an investor must buy a new property that is worth the same amount, or even less than that, or have the same leverage – up to $650,000 – to qualify for the program. Businesses are another good candidate for a 1031 exchange.

Benefits of a 1031 exchange


According to Rusty Tweed, a 1031 exchange is a simple, tax-free way to trade investment property for a different asset. It allows you to swap buildings for a more substantial asset. An example would be selling a duplex unit for an apartment complex. However, the process is slightly different for every investor. One of the most important factors in successfully completing a 1031 exchange is identifying a replacement property within 45 days. If you fail to do this, you could risk incurring capital gains taxes on the difference.

The main advantage of a 1031 exchange is that there are no limits on the number of swaps you can make. You can swap properties as many times as you like, as long as you maintain the condition of the replacement property. However, if you’re selling a vacation home or a multi-family property, you may be unable to take advantage of the 1031 exchange. A seasoned professional can help you make the right decision regarding the appropriate property for your investment needs.

How a 1031 exchange works

To get the most out of your 1031 exchange, you need to know what the deadlines are. If your property doesn’t sell within 180 days, you will have to find a replacement property before the deadline expires. The deadlines will challenge you and your creative thinking, but the best way to find the right property within the timeframe is to think about the type of property, price range, and market. Here are some tips to make the process easier.

The first rule of 1031 exchanges is that the replacement and relinquished properties must be “like-kind.” The IRS defines like-kind broadly, and a qualified intermediary can help you figure out what “like-kind” means. The property must be used for a trade or business, and it cannot be a primary residence. Unlike a typical 1031 exchange, a 1031 exchange doesn’t require the buyer to pay taxes on the money he or she receives from the sale of the property.

Tax implications of a 1031 exchange

What are the tax implications of a 1031 exchange? Rusty Tweed thinks that a 1031 exchange allows investors to swap personal property and intangible assets, such as artwork and collectibles. There are rules and a process that must be followed. If you’re unsure of what rules to follow, consult with an attorney. Whether you should opt for the direct or indirect route is an individual decision. However, 1031 exchanges make the process easier.

First of all, you must be aware that not all real estate can be exchanged in a 1031 exchange. For example, you can exchange parts of a hotel for parts of a restaurant. However, you can’t exchange the good will of the hotel for its real estate. Also, you can’t do a 1031 exchange if you have a loan on the other real estate. For that reason, you should always seek tax advice before deciding on a 1031 exchange.

Identifying a replacement property for a 1031 exchange

The first step to complete in completing a 1031 exchange is to identify a replacement property. You can do this by identifying the property yourself or by hiring a qualified intermediary to do so. The identification document must be signed and delivered to the replacement property seller, or to a person who is not disqualified. A qualified intermediary is usually a real estate agent. However, in certain circumstances, you can hire an attorney to handle the exchange for you.

To qualify for the exchange, you must identify the replacement property. This is usually the Qualified Intermediary or other party involved in the exchange transaction. In order to qualify for 1031 exchange treatment, your Replacement Property must be “like-kind” to the Relinquished Property. That means that you cannot use a similar property to identify the Replacement Property. Consequently, you must use the property’s street address, legal description, and distinct name.

Finding a qualified intermediary for a 1031 exchange

Choosing the right Qualified Intermediary (QI) for your 1031 exchange is crucial to a successful transaction. These individuals must have a wealth of experience and know how to interpret tax codes and rules to ensure that the process is as seamless as possible. The process may involve miscellaneous fees such as courier fees, overnight deliveries, or wire transfer fees. There are many things to consider before choosing a QI for your exchange.

Rusty Tweed feels that if you are using a private party as a qualified intermediary, be careful not to choose one that has a conflict of interest, as this could lead to your exchange being disqualified. A company that offers replacement property solutions should avoid serving as a qualified intermediary as they may have a vested interest in the transaction. QIs must always put the best interests of their clients first. Individuals can also serve as a QI, but this can be dangerous. Suddenly, bankruptcy or death of the individual could wreck your exchange funds.