One of the most stressful parts of doing a 1031 exchange is knowing that you have this looming deadline that you have to designate in writing your replacement property within 45 days after the sale of your old relinquished property.
Be Mindful of Time
Knowing that, many smart and prudent investors will use all of their time leading up to the sale of the relinquished property to hone in and target the replacement properties. Sometimes they’ll even sign purchase agreements or option agreements locking up that replacement property before they’ve sold their old relinquished property. The idea is that they don’t want to be sweating that 45 day identification period.
Other investors are a little bit more cavalier and freewheeling. They may go right up until the eleventh hour on day 44 to figure out what they’re going to identify. Sometimes taxpayers will list the three best candidates under the three property rule and pray that they can close on one of those three properties during the remainder of their hundred and thirty-five days in the exchange period.
3 Rules for Identifying Replacement Property
The trick with identifying is knowing that there are three different alternate rules for identifying replacement property.
- The first rule is the three property rule that we talked about. It’s very simple. You identify three or fewer properties, doesn’t matter how expensive they are.
- An alternative rule is called the 200% rule. Under that rule you can identify any number of properties so long as the total aggregate value of all of those identified properties does not exceed 200% of the gross sales price of your relinquished property.
- Finally, the last identification rule is called the 95% rule. It is very rarely used because it says you can identify a number of properties – more than three, more than 200% of your old property – but you actually end up receiving 95% of the value of those properties that you identified. So if I list 100 oil and gas wells, I have to purchase that entire portfolio. But if one of those oil wells runs dry and I decide not to purchase it, I still receive 95% of those properties that I identified.