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How Much Does a 1031 Exchange Cost?

July 11, 2023

A 1031 exchange is a real estate investing strategy used by many real estate investors to defer taxes. It involves exchanging ownership of a relinquished property for a suitable replacement property while avoiding capital gains tax, transfer taxes, and depreciation recapture on sales proceeds.

While you do save a large amount of money by deferring the taxes on the sale, 1031 exchanges do come with certain costs. Theses costs usually involve paying qualified intermediary fees to a company like Universal Pacific 1031 Exchange in order to successfully do a 1031 exchange. In addition to the qualified intermediary fees in a 1031 exchange, you can expect to pay other administrative costs and fees that are typically involved in most real estate transactions.

In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about 1031 exchanges and their associated transaction costs so that you will know exactly what you’ll need to pay for a 1031 exchange.

Understanding the Costs Associated with 1031 Exchanges

Understanding the Costs Associated with 1031 Exchanges

Qualified Intermediary Fees

A Qualified Intermediary (QI) is a third-party facilitator who handles and assists in the 1031 exchange process. They help ensure complete compliance with IRS regulations, and their exact fee amount depends on the complexity of the exchange and the services provided. These fees typically range anywhere from $500 to $8,500 per exchange.

Closing Costs

Just like in regular real estate transactions, there may be closing costs involved in the purchase of the replacement property. These costs can include title insurance, escrow fees, recording fees, title closing fees, and attorney fees.

The exact amount varies based on the property’s value and the local market practices, however, closing costs typically range from 1% to 3% of the property value. Assuming 2% on the sales price of a $1 million property, the costs would be $20,000 .

It’s essential to review the estimated closing costs with your qualified intermediary and real estate professionals to have a clear understanding of these expenses.

Financing Costs

If you are obtaining financing to purchase the replacement property, you may incur costs such as loan payments, origination fees, appraisal fees, and other financing-related expenses.

These costs depend on the loan amount, terms of the loan, and the specific lender you choose, however, we can estimate them at $5,000 for a $1 million property.

It’s advisable to shop around and compare loan options to find the most favorable terms and minimize financing expenses.

Property Inspection and Due Diligence

Property Inspection and Due Diligence

It is essential to conduct thorough inspections and due diligence on the replacement property to ensure it meets your requirements. This can include hiring inspectors, appraisers, environmental consultants, and other professionals to assess the property’s condition and value.

The costs for these services can vary based on the size and complexity of the property, as well as the professionals’ fees in your local market. But, inspection and due diligence costs might amount to about $3,000 on a $1 million property.

Professional Fees

You may need to engage professionals such as real estate agents, tax advisors, and attorneys to assist with the 1031 exchange process. These professionals can provide valuable expertise and guidance throughout the exchange, ensuring compliance with tax laws and maximizing the benefits of the exchange.

Their fees vary based on their experience, location, and the services required. Their combined broker commissions could be around 3% to 6% of the property value, totaling $30,000 to $60,000 on a $1 million property.

You should discuss fees upfront and compare quotes from different professionals to make an informed decision.

Depreciation Recapture Tax

Depreciation Recapture Tax

While a 1031 exchange allows you to defer capital gains tax, it does not eliminate the potential depreciation recapture tax. If you have claimed depreciation deductions on your relinquished property, you might owe depreciation recapture tax when you eventually sell the replacement property. This tax is calculated based on the amount of depreciation taken during the ownership period and the applicable tax rates.

The actual tax liability depends on various factors, but let’s estimate it at $50,000 on a $1 million property.

Consulting with a tax advisor can help you understand the potential tax liability and explore strategies to minimize or defer this tax burden.

Example Recap

In the examples above, the total costs associated with the 1031 exchange fee structure for a $1 million property could range from approximately $118,000 to $148,000 or around 12% to 15%. However, the majority of these costs come standard with any real estate transaction and are not unique to 1031 exchanges. The only cost here that is unique to 1031 exchanges is qualified intermediary service fees.

These figures are estimates, and actual costs may vary based on specific circumstances, location, and professional fees.

Consulting with a tax advisor and other professionals can provide more accurate cost estimates tailored to the individual’s situation.

Budgeting and planning for 1031 exchange expenses

Budgeting and planning for 1031 exchange expenses

Budgeting and planning for 1031 exchange expenses are crucial for a smooth and successful 1031 exchange process. By understanding and preparing for the costs, you can avoid unexpected financial burdens and make informed decisions.

Several factors influence the 1031 exchange cost. These factors include the complexity of the transaction, the value of the multiple properties involved, the fees charged by the qualified intermediary, closing costs, financing expenses, professional fees, and potential depreciation recapture tax.

Each of these elements must be carefully considered carefully and factored into the budget to ensure that you are adequately prepared financially.

Evaluating Cost-Effective Options

When engaging in a 1031 exchange, it is essential to evaluate cost-effective options to maximize your investment’s value. One crucial step is researching and comparing service providers. Look for Qualified Intermediaries such as Universal Pacific 1031 Exchange, real estate agents, tax advisors, and other professionals who specialize in 1031 exchanges and have a successful track record.

While cost is a consideration, it’s equally important to weigh the costs against the quality of services rendered. Cheaper options may not always provide the same level of expertise or attention to detail. You should strike a balance between affordability and the provider’s reputation and capabilities.

Additionally, negotiating fees and exploring potential discounts or package deals can help reduce costs. Some service providers may be open to negotiations, particularly if you have multiple transactions or can bring them repeat business.

By carefully evaluating options, considering service quality, and exploring opportunities for cost savings, you will make informed decisions and achieve an ideal 1031 exchange cost.

Strategies utilized by investors to manage and reduce costs effectively

Strategies utilized by investors to manage and reduce costs effectively

Research and Compare Service Providers

Start by doing your homework. Look for real estate agents, tax advisors, and other professionals who are not only good at what they do but also offer fair prices. Compare their fees and expertise to find the most cost-effective options.

Negotiate Fees

Don’t be afraid to negotiate fees with your various service providers. Some of them may be open to adjusting their fees, especially if you have multiple transactions or can bring them repeat business. Have these discussions to explore potential discounts or package deals.

Streamline the Exchange Process

Making sure the 1031 exchange process runs smoothly can save you both time and money. Stay on top of things, give documents quickly, and keep everyone in the loop. By avoiding delays and any extra costs that might come from dragging things out, you’ll keep more money in your pocket.

Consider Self-Management Options

Instead of hiring property management companies, investors may choose to self-manage their new property. This can reduce ongoing management fees and improve cash flow.

Explore Alternative Financing Options

Investigate different financing options and compare terms from multiple lenders. By securing favorable loan terms, such as lower interest rates or reduced closing costs, investors can minimize financing expenses.

Plan Ahead for Depreciation Recapture Tax

Understand the potential depreciation recapture tax implications and plan accordingly. Consult with a tax advisor to strategize ways to minimize or defer the tax burden in the future.

Take Advantage of 1031 Exchange Specialists

Work with professionals experienced in 1031 exchanges such as Universal Pacific 1031 Exchange who can guide you through the process, identify cost-saving opportunities, and help optimize the transaction. Their expertise can ensure compliance with IRS regulations while minimizing unnecessary operating expenses.


Understanding the administrative fees associated with a 1031 exchange is crucial for investors seeking to maximize their benefits while deferring capital gains taxes and depreciation recapture. Now that you know the costs associated with 1031 exchanges, you should be well equipped to move forward with your transactions.

Qualified intermediary costs, closing costs, financing expenses, property inspection and due diligence, professional fees, and potential depreciation recapture tax are all important factors to consider. By budgeting and planning for these expenses, real estate investors can avoid unexpected financial burdens and make informed decisions.

Universal Pacific 1031 Exchange can help you navigate the complexities of the process and identify cost-effective options.

With careful planning, diligent research, and the assistance of knowledgeable professionals, investors can achieve a successful and cost-effective 1031 exchange, ultimately maximizing the potential for long-term investment success.

About The Author

Michael Bergman, CPA
Michael Bergman is a California licensed CPA and Real Estate Broker with over 32 years of experience in commercial real estate. Specializing in 1031 tax-deferred exchanges and financial oversight, his expertise is invaluable for complex real estate transactions. Michael’s unique blend of financial acumen and real estate knowledge positions him as a trusted advisor in the industry, offering sound advice and strategic insights for successful property management and investment.

Don’t let taxes hinder your property investment decisions. Connect with us today for a free, no-obligation 1031 exchange consultation. Let us help you navigate the process with ease.