1031 Exchange Guide: Who are the People Behind a 1031 Exchange? | DST Investment

With the recent popularity of 1031 exchanges, you may be wondering who exactly is involved in making these real estate transactions happen. Numerous professionals are needed to facilitate a 1031 exchange, from real estate agents and brokers to qualified intermediaries and tax experts.

In this informative guide, we will cover the basics of these transactions and introduce you to the five key players who work behind the scenes to make 1031 exchanges possible. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the different roles involved in a 1031 exchange and how they work together to make these transactions happen.

What is a 1031 Exchange?

In order to understand who the key players are in a 1031 exchange, it is first important to understand what a 1031 exchange is. A 1031 exchange, also known as a like-kind exchange or a Starker exchange, is a method of deferring capital gains taxes on the sale of investment or business property by reinvesting the proceeds from the sale into another similar property.

To be eligible for tax-deferred treatment, the exchanged properties must be held for investment or business purposes and must be considered “like-kind.” Like-kind property is broadly defined by the IRS and can include anything from office buildings and warehouses to rental properties and undeveloped land.

In order for a 1031 exchange to be successful, it is important to have a clear understanding of the rules and regulations set forth by the IRS. These rules are complex, and there are numerous potential pitfalls that can trip up even the most experienced investor. As such, it is strongly advised that you seek out the assistance of a qualified professional before attempting a 1031 exchange on your own.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of what a 1031 exchange is, let’s take a look at the five key players who work behind the scenes to make these transactions happen.

Real Estate Agents and Brokers

The first step in any 1031 exchange is to identify and locate suitable replacement property. In most cases, this will require the assistance of a real estate agent or broker who specializes in investment properties.

Your agent or broker will work with you to identify properties that meet your investment criteria and are also eligible for 1031 treatment. Once you’ve found a property that meets your needs, your agent or broker will help you negotiate a purchase price and assist with the closing process.

Qualified Intermediaries

In order for a 1031 exchange to be tax-deferred, the proceeds from the sale of the relinquished property must be transferred to a qualified intermediary (QI) before they are used to purchase the replacement property.

A QI is a neutral third party who holds the proceeds from the sale of the relinquished property and facilitates the exchange by ensuring that all of the IRS rules and regulations are met. The role of the QI is critical, as they act as a buffer between the investor and the proceeds from the sale, helping to minimize the risk of “boot” being received in exchange for the replacement property.

Tax Advisors

Another key player in a 1031 exchange is a tax advisor. As with any real estate transaction, there are numerous tax implications to be considered when entering into a 1031 exchange.

A qualified tax advisor can help you understand the potential tax implications of your exchange and can offer guidance on how to structure your exchange in order to minimize your tax liability.

Closing Agents

The closing agent is responsible for ensuring that all of the required documents are prepared and executed in a 1031 exchange.

In addition, the closing agent will hold the earnest money deposit and coordinate the transfer of funds between the parties involved in the exchange.


Last but not least, appraisers play an important role in a 1031 exchange. In order for a property to be eligible for 1031 treatment, it must be properly appraised by a qualified appraiser.

The appraiser will determine the fair market value of the property, as well as its “as-is” value. The as-is value is important as it will be used to determine the amount of equity that must be reinvested in the replacement property.

Choosing a 1031 Exchange Professional

When selecting a 1031 exchange professional, it is important to choose someone who is experienced and qualified.

Be sure to ask for references and check their credentials before moving forward. In addition, be sure to have a clear understanding of their fees and commissions so that there are no surprises down the road.

1031 exchanges can be complex transactions, but with the help of a qualified professional, they can be a great way to defer capital gains taxes and grow your investment portfolio.

Real estate agents, brokers, qualified intermediaries, tax advisors, closing agents, and appraisers are all key players in a successful 1031 exchange. Be sure to do your homework and choose professionals who are experienced and qualified to help you with your exchange.