Does sale need to come before purchase in order to be considered a like-kind exchange and avoid capital gains tax?

When selling your home (primary residence) and purchasing a new one does the sale of the existing home need to come before purchase of the new one? I found two pages on this but neither answers this question directly.

  • Updated the tags based on the question. I'm assuming you're talking about the US IRC Sec 1031 exchange.
    – littleadv
    May 12, 2022 at 18:30

1 Answer 1


In the US, the IRC Sec. 1031 (like-kind exchange tax deferral) refers to investment properties, you cannot use it to defer tax recognition on the sale of your primary residence. For primary residences there's a different section, IRC Sec. 121, that allows exclusion of up to $250K ($500K for MFJ taxpayers) from your income

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