seller financing

Issues to Be Aware of with 1031 Exchanges & Seller Financing

Seller Financing 1031 Exchanges

If you're doing a 1031 exchange, you want to be able to take all of your equity (or net proceeds) in the relinquished property and reinvest those proceeds into the replacement property.

If your buyer of the relinquished property asks you to finance a portion of their purchase, you may want to do that just to get the deal done. But if you're taking a portion of your proceeds from the sale and loaning it back to the buyer, that's going to hamper your ability to move all of your equity and redeploy into the replacement property.

An Easy Workaround

One easy workaround is to loan the money to the buyer out of your own pocket rather than out of the proceeds of the sale.

The old expression is: “cash is king.” So if you've got the cash to loan to your buyer – great! That's a good workaround. If you don't have the cash and you want to maximize the tax efficiencies of your exchange, tell the buyer that you want cash on the barrelhead - that you don't want to be their banker, you just want to sell them the property.

If you can get the buyer to pay you cash and finance the property with a traditional loan or from other sources, so much the better. Keep your exchange simple and make it as easy for you to redeploy all of your equity into that bigger and better like-kind replacement property, and do so in in a way that allows you to compound and build your wealth without the drag of unnecessary recognition of taxes.

  • Start Your 1031 Exchange: If you have questions about 1031 exchanges, feel free to call me at 612-643-1031.

Defer the tax. Maximize your gain.


© 2019 Copyright Jeffrey R. Peterson All Rights Reserved

Accounting Requirements in a 1031 Exchange

1031 Exchange Accounting Requirements

In a 1031 exchange, there are three general benchmarks that you want to be cognizant of.

Value, Equity, Debt

  • In order to cover all of the gain you have to buy your replacement property of equal or greater value.
  • The next benchmark is you have to reinvest all of your equity or net proceeds into that new replacement property.
  • Finally, to the extent that you are discharged or relieved of debts associated with the relinquished property, you need to acquire a replacement property and take out new debt sufficient to offset the old debt relief. Or if you're flush with cash you can also invest additional cash out of your pocket to offset some or all of that debt relief.

Potential Problems

The problem comes when people sell their relinquished property and they engage in seller-backed financing. Perhaps the buyer doesn't have enough money for the down payment and they say to you “hey why don't I borrow $10,000 or $15,000 from you and I'll give you a note at the time of closing for that amount?"

Well if the seller that's doing the exchange receives any property other than like-kind real estate as part of the exchange that is called boot, and boot is taxable. If the seller receives a note for $10,000 or $15,000 they’ve just received $10,000 or $15,000 worth of boot.

Insulating the Seller

In order to insulate the seller from receiving that boot we would have all of the proceeds (both the cash and the non-cash proceeds) go to the qualified intermediary so that it can be applied for the purchase of the new replacement property. If the seller of the new replacement property likes the idea of receiving the cash but isn't so enthralled with receiving the note you can then have the exchangor substitute in cash into the exchange account for the face value of the note so that the intermediary has all cash in the exchange account to apply for and use to purchase the replacement property.

  • 1031 Hotline: If you have questions about 1031 accounting requirements, feel free to call me at 612-643-1031.

Defer the tax. Maximize your gain.


© 2017 Copyright Jeffrey R. Peterson All Rights Reserved

Can Seller Financing Jeopardize my 1031 Exchange?

seller financing in a 1031 exchange

In a 1031 you need to move your equity to your replacement property to defer all of the gain. If you use some of the proceeds to loan back to the buyer through a seller-backed note or a contract for deed, your equity is not available to you to redeploy into the replacement property.

Cash on the Barrelhead

The first thing I tell people is if you want a simple 1031 exchange, ask for cash on the barrelhead. Tell the seller not to be the bank. Instead, let the buyer go out and get their own financing. That’s fine sometimes, but other times the seller has to give the buyer some type of incentive in order to buy the property and has to engage in seller backed financing.

An easy way to fix that problem is to come to the closing table with a sufficient amount of money to loan directly to the buyer. If you do this that means all of your net proceeds are available to be sent to your 1031 escrow account (because you are adding in the cash to loan to the buyer out-of-pocket).

Have the Note Favor the QI

Another possibility is to loan the money to the buyer but have the note (or other debt instrument) run in favor of the qualified intermediary. That way your QI gets the cash and non-cash proceeds. But what do you do about the non-cash proceeds? We need to at some point sell that note so the QI has all-cash in their exchange account and can use that to apply it to the purchase of the replacement property.

So at some point in the process you’re going to probably have to buy that note from the QI. One way to do that is take out a temporary unsecured loan from a bank, put the money into the QI account, close on the replacement property, and in a post-exchange transaction, you can go back to your banker and increase the indebtedness on the replacement property (to pay back the unsecured loan). But that has to be done after the exchange is over in a separate post-exchange transaction.

  • 1031 Hotline: If you have questions about seller financing, feel free to call me at 612-643-1031.

Defer the tax. Maximize your gain.


© 2016 Copyright Jeffrey R. Peterson All Rights Reserved