Finding the Perfect Qualified Intermediary for Your 1031 Exchange

Finding the Right Qualified Intermediary


A 1031 exchange can be a powerful tool for real estate investors to defer capital gains taxes and reinvest their profits into new properties. However, to navigate this complex process successfully, one crucial partner you’ll need by your side is a qualified intermediary (QI). A qualified intermediary is a neutral third-party who facilitates the exchange, helping you comply with the IRS regulations. They hold the sale proceeds from your relinquished property in escrow and then transfer those funds to acquire the replacement property within the strict timeframes allowed. Choosing the right QI can significantly impact the outcome of your exchange. 

What To Look For In A QI

Experience and expertise are paramount when choosing a qualified intermediary. Look for a QI who has a proven track record of successfully facilitating 1031 exchanges. Check if they are members of professional organizations like the Federation of Exchange Accommodators (FEA), as this demonstrates their commitment to adhering to industry standards.

Ask for recommendations from fellow real estate investors or financial professionals who have gone through 1031 exchanges. Their firsthand experiences can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness and professionalism of various qualified intermediaries. Additionally, online reviews and testimonials can offer additional information about a QI’s reputation.

Costs associated with a 1031 exchange can vary among qualified intermediaries. While the cheapest option may not always be the best, it’s crucial to understand the fees and costs upfront. Look for a QI who is transparent about their charges, avoids hidden costs, and provides a breakdown of their services.

Always verify the qualifications and credentials of the qualified intermediary you plan to work with. Ensure they comply with all the necessary regulations and have the required licenses and certifications to operate in your state.

Effective communication is the key to a successful 1031 exchange as timing is crucial in the process. Choose a qualified intermediary who is responsive to your queries, provides timely updates throughout the process, and is available to address any concerns you may have. The exchange timeline is tight, and delays could lead to missed opportunities or tax consequences.

Different types of properties may require unique considerations during a 1031 exchange. Choose a QI who has experience dealing with properties similar to yours. For example, if your properties are located in different states, ensure the intermediary is well-versed in the tax laws and regulations of those states.

Questions To Ask

Here are some essential questions to ask your qualified intermediary:

  1. Are you a certified and qualified intermediary? 
  2. How many 1031 exchange transactions have you facilitated in the past year? How many total exchanges have you handled?
  3. What types of properties or assets have you worked with in 1031 exchanges? Are they similar to the type of property I’m planning to exchange?
  4. Can you explain the entire 1031 exchange process to me, step by step? What role will you play in each step?
  5. What fees do you charge for your services? Are there any additional or hidden costs I should be aware of?
  6. How do you handle the funds during the exchange process? Are they held in a separate escrow or trust account?
  7. Do you offer any investment opportunities or resources to help me identify potential replacement properties?
  8. Can you provide references or testimonials from past clients who have used your services for 1031 exchanges?
  9. How do you ensure compliance with all IRS rules and regulations regarding 1031 exchanges?
  10. What measures do you have in place to safeguard exchange funds and ensure a smooth and timely exchange process?
  11. How do you handle potential complications or unexpected issues that may arise during the exchange?
  12. Are you familiar with the specific tax laws and regulations in the states where my relinquished and replacement properties are located?
  13. What is your availability for communication? Can I reach you easily if I have questions or concerns during the exchange?
  14. Are you affiliated with any other companies or individuals involved in the transaction? Is there any potential conflict of interest?
  15. How do you stay up-to-date with changes in tax laws and regulations that may impact 1031 exchanges?


Selecting the right qualified intermediary is a critical step in ensuring a smooth and successful 1031 exchange. Take the time to research and compare potential candidates, considering their experience, credentials, reputation, fees, and communication skills. By finding a reliable and knowledgeable qualified intermediary, you’ll be well on your way to maximizing the benefits of your 1031 exchange and achieving your real estate investment goals.

Voss Real Estate Advisors

October 16, 2023

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