Welcome to our blog series on mastering 1031 exchanges in Texas. If you’re looking to deepen your understanding of how to leverage these exchanges to defer taxes and boost your investment portfolio, you’re in the right place. This series will sequentially unveil the chapters of our comprehensive eBook, “Understanding 1031 Exchanges in Texas: A Comprehensive Guide for Commercial Real Estate Investors.” If you missed our first blog post in the series, you can find it here. For those eager to jump ahead and absorb the entire guide now, we invite you to download the free 70 page eBook now. This resource, crafted by our experienced team at Blue Collar Commercial Group, aims to equip you with both foundational knowledge and advanced insights into 1031 exchanges, tailored specifically for the Texas market. DOWNLOAD HERE

1031 Exchange in Texas: A Step-by-Step Process

Engaging in a 1031 exchange can provide significant tax advantages to real estate investors, but the process involves a series of critical steps that must be meticulously followed to ensure compliance and success. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the step-by-step process for executing a 1031 exchange in Texas, designed to guide investors through this complex transaction.

Step 1: Decide to Sell and Plan for a 1031 Exchange

Before listing the relinquished property on the market, investors should have a clear strategy that includes pursuing a 1031 exchange. This involves consulting with tax advisors, real estate professionals, and legal counsel experienced in 1031 exchanges to understand the tax implications, identify optimal timelines, and clarify investment goals.

Step 2: List and Sell the Relinquished Property

Once the decision has been made, the investor lists the property for sale. Upon finding a buyer and agreeing on the terms, the sale proceeds but with one crucial difference from a typical sale: the closing statement will indicate that the sale is part of a 1031 exchange, and the proceeds are to be transferred to a Qualified Intermediary (QI).

Step 3: Engage a Qualified Intermediary (QI)

Before closing on the sale, the investor must enter an agreement with a Qualified Intermediary. The QI is an independent party who facilitates the 1031 exchange by holding the proceeds from the sale of the relinquished property and later using them to acquire the replacement property. It’s essential to select a QI experienced with Texas real estate laws and regulations.

Step 4: Identify Replacement Property or Properties

From the day after closing the sale of the relinquished property, the investor has 45 days to identify potential replacement properties. This identification must be in writing, signed by the investor, and delivered to the QI. Identifications can adhere to the Three Property Rule, the 200% Rule, or the 95% Rule, as outlined by the IRS.

Step 5: Complete Due Diligence on Identified Properties

Once potential replacements are identified, the investor and their team conduct thorough due diligence on the properties. This includes examining financials, reviewing tenant leases, inspecting the properties, and assessing their compatibility with the investor’s long-term goals.

Step 6: Purchase Replacement Property

The investor must close on one or more of the identified replacement properties within 180 days of the sale of the relinquished property. The QI uses the funds held in escrow to purchase the replacement property, with the deed being directly transferred to the investor. This process must comply with the regulations governing 1031 exchanges to ensure the deferral of capital gains taxes.

Step 7: Finalize the 1031 Exchange

After closing on the replacement property, the QI transfers any remaining funds back to the investor, and the 1031 exchange is complete. It is imperative for the investor to work with their tax advisor to accurately report the 1031 exchange on their tax returns using IRS Form 8824.

Step 8: Document and Maintain Records

Investors should meticulously document the entire 1031 exchange process, keeping detailed records of all transactions, communications, and filings. These records are essential for future reference, potential IRS inquiries, and long-term portfolio management.


Executing a 1031 exchange in Texas involves careful planning, strict adherence to timelines, and coordination with a team of professionals. By following the outlined steps and ensuring compliance with both federal and state regulations, investors can successfully leverage 1031 exchanges to defer taxes, realign investment strategies, and enhance the profitability of their real estate portfolios in Texas.

Finding a Qualified Intermediary

A crucial and mandatory step in the 1031 exchange process is selecting a competent Qualified Intermediary (QI). The QI plays a pivotal role in facilitating the exchange, holding the sale proceeds of the relinquished property, and acquiring the replacement property on behalf of the investor. Choosing the right QI is essential for a successful and compliant 1031 exchange. Here’s how investors in Texas can find and select a Qualified Intermediary:

Understanding the Role of a Qualified Intermediary

Before initiating the search, it’s important to fully understand the QI’s role, which goes beyond merely holding funds. A QI ensures that the 1031 exchange complies with IRS regulations, prepares the necessary legal documents like the Exchange Agreement, Assignment Agreements, and provides guidance throughout the process. Their involvement is critical for maintaining the integrity and validity of the exchange.

Criteria for Selecting a Qualified Intermediary

Experience and Expertise: Look for a QI with ample experience in handling 1031 exchanges, particularly in Texas, given the state’s unique real estate landscape. They should have a comprehensive understanding of both federal and state laws affecting 1031 exchanges.
Reputation: Research the QI’s track record. Read reviews, ask for references, and check if they are members of reputable organizations like the Federation of Exchange Accommodators (FEA). A QI with a solid reputation is likely to offer reliable and high-quality services.
Financial Security: Inquire about the QI’s policies on holding and protecting exchange funds. Ensure they have fidelity bond insurance, errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, and ask about their policy on using qualified escrow accounts or segregated accounts for holding the exchange funds.
Availability and Communication: The QI should be readily available to address any concerns or questions during the exchange process. Good communication is key to navigating the complexities of a 1031 exchange.
Fees and Charges: Understand the fee structure of the QI. While cost shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor, it’s important to ensure their fees are competitive and transparent. Be wary of hidden charges.

Where to Find a Qualified Intermediary

Professional Networks: Attorneys, accountants, and real estate professionals often have contacts within the industry and can recommend reputable QIs.
Industry Associations: Organizations dedicated to 1031 exchanges and real estate investment often have directories of members, including Qualified Intermediaries
Online Research: Comprehensive research can reveal a list of potential QIs. Look for reviews, testimonials, and any published content that showcases their expertise.

Conducting Due Diligence

Once you’ve identified potential QIs, conduct thorough due diligence. Verify their licensing, inquire about their experience with similar exchanges, and ensure they have a clear protocol for managing and safeguarding funds. Confirm that they have not been subject to disciplinary actions or involved in disputes related to their role as a QI.


Selecting the right Qualified Intermediary is a critical step in the 1031 exchange process, especially in the diverse and dynamic Texas real estate market. A QI with the right blend of experience, expertise, and reliability can make a significant difference in the success of the exchange. Investors should approach this step with diligence, considering both the qualifications of the QI and their ability to support the investor’s specific needs and goals throughout the exchange process. By doing so, investors can navigate the complexities of 1031 exchanges with confidence, optimizing their investment strategies in the Texas market.

Setting Up the 1031 Exchange Agreement

After selecting a Qualified Intermediary (QI) to facilitate the 1031 exchange, the next crucial step involves setting up the Exchange Agreement. This legally binding document outlines the rights and obligations of both the investor initiating the exchange and the QI. The Exchange Agreement is fundamental to ensuring the exchange is executed in compliance with IRS rules and that the intended tax deferral benefits are achieved. Here’s an overview of how to properly set up an Exchange Agreement in Texas:

Drafting the Exchange Agreement

The Exchange Agreement should be drafted with the assistance of the QI and, ideally, reviewed by a legal professional experienced in 1031 exchanges and real estate law, particularly within Texas. This document governs the entire exchange process, and it’s critical to ensure that it is comprehensive and accurately reflects the terms of the agreement between the investor and the QI.

Key Components of the Exchange Agreement

  1. Identification of Parties: Clearly states the names and roles of the parties involved, including the investor (Exchanger) and the Qualified Intermediary.
  2. Description of the Relinquished Property: Provides specific details regarding the property being sold, including its address and legal description.
  3. Use of Proceeds: Details how the QI will hold and use the proceeds from the sale of the relinquished property to acquire the replacement property. This section is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the exchange since direct access to the funds by the Exchanger can invalidate the exchange.
  4. Timeframes and Deadlines: Outlines the critical deadlines, including the 45-day identification period for the replacement property and the 180-day completion period for the exchange, as mandated by the IRS.
  5. Identification Rules and Procedures: Specifies the procedures for identifying potential replacement properties, including the requirements for the Three-Property Rule, the 200% Rule, or the 95% Rule.
  6. Assignment Clause: Stipulates that the Exchanger assigns their rights to sell the relinquished property and to purchase the replacement property to the QI. This legally allows the QI to act on behalf of the Exchanger without taking actual or constructive receipt of the exchange funds.
  7. Security and Liability: Address how the funds are to be held (e.g., in an insured or segregated bank account) and outlines the responsibilities and liabilities of the QI, including details on fidelity bonds, errors and omissions insurance, and other forms of protection for the Exchanger.
  8. Fees and Compensation: Details all fees associated with the exchange, including any compensation due to the QI for their services.
  9. Governing Law: Specifies that the agreement is governed by state laws applicable in Texas and acknowledges federal tax laws governing 1031 exchanges.
  10. Termination and Default Provisions: Outlines conditions under which the agreement may be terminated and the consequences of default by either party.

Review and Execution

Once drafted, the Exchange Agreement should be reviewed thoroughly by both parties. It’s advisable for the investor (Exchanger) to have the document reviewed independently by their attorney or tax advisor. Clarifications and modifications should be made as necessary to ensure that all terms are understood and agreed upon.

After finalizing the agreement, both parties sign the document, making it legally binding. The signing of the Exchange Agreement officially initiates the 1031 exchange process under the facilitation of the QI.


Setting up the Exchange Agreement is a critical step in the 1031 exchange process, laying the foundation for a successful transaction. It’s imperative that the agreement is meticulously drafted and reviewed to ensure it meets all regulatory requirements and protects the interests of the investor. With a properly structured Exchange Agreement, investors can confidently proceed with their 1031 exchange in Texas, leveraging this powerful strategy to defer capital gains taxes and realign their investment portfolios.

Your Partners in Commercial Real Estate Success

At Blue Collar Commercial Group, we don’t just work in the Texas Hill Country commercial market—we live here. Our deep-rooted understanding of this unique market, combined with our unmatched expertise in commercial real estate, positions us as your ideal partner for navigating the complexities of office space selection.

From identifying your perfect office space to closing the deal with confidence and ease, our team of seasoned commercial real estate professionals is dedicated to guiding you every step of the way.

Ready to make your mark in the Texas Hill Country commercial real estate landscape?

Contact Blue Collar Commercial Group today. Let us empower you with the insights, resources, and personalized support needed to turn your commercial real estate aspirations into reality.

Reach out to us now and embark on your journey toward commercial real estate excellence in Texas Hill Country.

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About the Author: Rex Blackburn

Rex Blackburn
Looking at Rex’s picture, you’ll notice he has some mileage on him. With that comes experience, knowledge, and understanding that he doesn’t have all the answers. What he does have is the ability to find the answers, to work with people on both sides of a transaction, strong negotiation skills, and the “know how” to carry a transaction through to a successful conclusion for our clients. Having owned multiple businesses over the years as well as the last 20 years behind him in Real Estate, Rex is a partner you can trust.

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