1) Success in doing 1031 property exchanges is mostly about doing exactly the right thing at exactly the right time. Consult with your tax and financial advisors about 1031 rules to determine if a 1031 tax-deferred exchange is appropriate for your circumstances and compatible with your investment goals.
2) Listing the Relinquished Property with a real estate broker. The Exchanger will list the Relinquished Property with a real estate broker. The broker/agent, ideally skilled in 1031 Property exchange functions, will disclose the intent to complete an exchange in the listing agreement.
3) Offer, Counter Offer and Acceptance. The Exchanger (Seller) enters into contract with the Buyer for the sale/exchange of the Relinquished Property that discloses the Seller's intent to complete an exchange, and obtain the Buyer's cooperation.
4) Open escrow for the Relinquished 1031 Property and coordinate with the Facilitator. All earnest money deposits should be placed with the Escrow Company. The Facilitator prepares the property exchange agreement and the necessary amendments and assignments and coordinates with the escrow holder. The close of escrow of the Relinquished Property and the receipt to the net proceeds by the Facilitator completes Phase One of the tax-deferred exchange. Important: The exchange documents must be in place and signed by all parties prior to close of escrow.
5) Identify Replacement Property. The Exchanger must identify all 1031 Replacement Property with 45 days from the close of escrow of the Relinquished Property. The identification must be in writing, signed by the Exchanger, and sent to the proper parties by the end of the 45th day.
6) Contracting for the Replacement property. After closing on the Relinquished Property the Exchanger has up to 180 days to acquire the Replacement Property AND close escrow on it. With the help of his or her agent the Exchanger enters in to contract to purchase the Replacement Property from the Seller. In the contract to purchase the Exchanger discloses the Exchanger's intent to complete the exchange and obtains the Seller's cooperation.
7) Open escrow for the Replacement Property. The Facilitator prepares the Phase Two Exchange documents and coordinates with the Replacement Property Escrow holder. At the instruction of the Facilitator, documents are placed in escrow and the escrow holder deeds the Replacement Property from the seller directly to the Exchanger. The transaction is closed as Phase Two of a delayed 1031 property exchange.
8) In this field, experience is EVERYTHING and most realty agents know only enough about 1031s to pass a licensing exam. I have been doing them for 30 years. Don't be caught holding the bag. Contact me or a Realtor with lots of high level 1031 experience under their belt. And do it early to be sure you have all your bases covered.