Can I put a replacement property under contract before I submit an ID Letter?

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You can.  There is no requirement that you identify property to your QI before you submit a contract,  though we recommend that you insert 1031 language into your replacement contract if possible. As a matter of fact, you can even enter into a replacement contract before your relinquished property has even closed.  The only ID requirement is that your final list be submitted before the 45-day ID deadline has passed.  If during the ID period, you submit a letter, and prior to the deadline, need to add, remove or change your property submission(s), you must first submit a rescission letter before you resubmit your new ID letter.  You can avoid this hassle by waiting and submitting the ID letter closer to the deadline date.  At this point, you will more clearly know what property or properties you want to identify. One final note—if you close on all of your replacement property before the ID deadline expires, there is no need to submit because the closing statement serves as the ID letter.

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