Who Holds Funds in a 1031 Exchange?

The 1031 exchange, also known as the like-kind exchange, is a popular strategy among real estate investors that allows them to defer capital gains taxes on the sale of a property. By exchanging one investment property for another, the investor can leverage the appreciation in one property to invest in another. This is a flexible strategy that can help investors meet various financial and investment goals, such as upgrading, diversifying their portfolio, pursuing new geographic opportunities, and more.

However, if the transaction is not structured as a 1031 exchange, the investor will be required to pay capital gains taxes on the appreciation of the property they sold. This can significantly reduce the amount of funds available for reinvestment in a new property, limiting the investor's ability to take advantage of new opportunities.

By utilizing the 1031 exchange, investors can avoid paying capital gains taxes and retain more of their investment capital, providing them with the ability to strive to grow their real estate portfolio and achieve their investment goals.

For instance, consider the scenario where an investor sells a property they've held onto for a number of years, resulting in a $100,000 appreciation. This could lead to a substantial capital gains tax bill, potentially reaching as high as 40% or $40,000, based on their income level. By using a 1031 exchange instead of a traditional sale and purchase arrangement, the investor can keep that $20,000 for their next real estate investment.

How does it work?

To effectively utilize a 1031 exchange and defer payment of capital gains tax, careful planning is crucial. The IRS has strict guidelines and timelines for executing a 1031 exchange, with the 45-day identification period starting immediately after the sale of the initial property, referred to as the relinquished asset. Investors must consider their options for replacement properties within this time frame. There are three options for identifying replacement properties:

When it comes to 1031 exchanges, identifying potential replacement properties is a critical step in the process. To take advantage of the tax-deferred benefits, the investor must adhere to strict timelines set by the IRS. One of the ways to do so is by identifying up to three individual properties that can be purchased as replacement assets.


The investor has the option to choose properties of any value, as long as they meet the requirement of replacing the value and debt of the relinquished property. This is important to keep in mind as it helps to ensure that the investor is not only deferring taxes but also maintaining the same level of investment.

By identifying up to three individual properties, the investor has a range of options to choose from and can choose the one that best suits their needs and goals. Furthermore, the investor is committed to purchasing at least one of these properties, thus ensuring that they are taking full advantage of the 1031 exchange process.

When it comes to 1031 exchanges, investors have the option of identifying more than 3 potential replacement properties, but the combined value of these properties cannot surpass 200% of the value of the asset that was sold. It's important to note that the investor must still purchase at least one of the identified properties.

This means that while the investor has the flexibility to consider a wider range of options, they must still ensure that the replacement properties are within the set financial limit in order to take advantage of the tax benefits of a 1031 exchange. This provides a balance between offering the investor a wider range of options while also ensuring that the transaction meets the requirements set forth by the IRS.

It is important to note that while the investor has the flexibility to identify an unlimited number of replacement properties, they must make sure that the total market value of the selected group of properties does not exceed 200% of the value of the sold asset. This ensures that the full value of the sold property is being replaced with the new investments.

Additionally, the investor must commit to purchasing at least one of the identified properties, ensuring that they are making a solid investment in a new property with the proceeds from the sale of their previous asset.

Who is Responsible for Holding the Funds During the 1031 Exchange Process?

Successful 1031 exchanges require the involvement of a Qualified Intermediary (QI), also known as an exchange accommodator. The QI holds a crucial role in the transaction, as they are responsible for holding and managing the funds during the sale and purchase process. They also receive the formal identification of replacement properties from the investor, and ensure the transfer of funds to the seller when a selection is made.

It's important to note that the QI must be an impartial third-party, and cannot be the investor or related to them, nor can they be an employee or agent of the investor. When choosing a QI, it is recommended to conduct research on their qualifications and expertise, as they should have extensive experience in executing 1031 exchanges, managing escrow, conducting sales, and preparing tax forms. The QI must also ensure that the entire transaction is completed within 180 days, including the 45-day identification period.

General Disclosure

Not an offer to buy, nor a solicitation to sell securities. All investing involves risk of loss of some or all principal invested. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Speak to your finance and/or tax professional prior to investing. Any information provided is for informational purposes only.

Securities offered through Emerson Equity LLC Member: FINRA/SIPC. Only available in states where Emerson Equity LLC is registered. Emerson Equity LLC is not affiliated with any other entities identified in this communication.

1031 Risk Disclosure:

·      There’s no guarantee any strategy will be successful or achieve investment objectives;

·      All real estate investments have the potential to lose value during the life of the investments;

·      The income stream and depreciation schedule for any investment property may affect the property owner’s income bracket and/or tax status. An unfavorable tax ruling may cancel deferral of capital gains and result in immediate tax liabilities;

·      All financed real estate investments have potential for foreclosure;

·      These 1031 exchanges are offered through private placement offerings and are illiquid securities. There is no secondary market for these investments.

·      If a property unexpectedly loses tenants or sustains substantial damage, there is potential for suspension of cash flow distributions;

·      Costs associated with the transaction may impact investors’ returns and may outweigh the tax benefits