"A 1031 exchange is facilitated through the assistance of a qualified intermediary. A qualified intermediary is a person who is not the taxpayer or a disqualified person. The role of the qualified intermediary is to step into the shoes of the taxpayer to handle the transaction, and to prevent the taxpayer from accessing any funds transferred during the exchange, which would violate IRC 1031. The qualified intermediary has a written exchange agreement with the taxpayer which allows the qualified intermediary to handle the receipt of the proceeds from the sale of relinquished property, and apply those funds toward the purchase of the replacement property. After the sale of the relinquished property, the taxpayer has 45 days to identify the new replacement property, and 180 days to close escrow on that new property purchase. The purchase price of the replacement property must be greater than the sale price of the relinquished property, otherwise there will be a taxable “boot” on the difference, and thus defeat the purpose of the exchange." - Peterson Law.
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