Diamond Certified Company Report

Independent Exchange Services, Inc.

Diamond Certified Company Report

Independent Exchange Services, Inc.

Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i
Company Credentials i
  • Liability Insurance
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 264 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Lillian S.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

1 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Ralph is very good at what he does. We had complete confidence in him.

It was easy to work with him, and he did what needed to be done. Everything from start to finish was just easy, and that fact is wonderful.

Yvonne H.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

2 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They know their business. I've worked with a few different companies in the past, and I think Independent Exchange Services left them in the dust.

They were very knowledgeable. They did every single thing I asked of them, and believe me when I tell you I worked their heinies off.

John L.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

3 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I'm completely satisfied with them.

Basically, I think they are all honest, quick, knowledgeable, proactive, respectful, professional, and so on and so forth.

Read All 264 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Ralph Bunje, Chairman

Independent Exchange Services, Inc. and Reverse Exchange Services, Inc. provide IRS Section 1031 exchange services—essentially a deferral of capital gains taxes from the exchange of investment properties—for real estate investors throughout the Greater Bay Area and beyond. The company acts as a third party, qualified intermediary for various types of exchanges, including delayed, simultaneous, reverse, built-to-suit, personal property and international.

Vice President R. Ian Bunje says the company strives to be as service-driven as possible and make the exchange process simple and hassle-free for its clients. “We know each person’s questions, problems and issues differ, so we tailor each transaction to meet those specific needs.”

The company operates as part of the 1031 Strategies & Services Group. It’s a boutique exchange firm, which means it doesn’t handle thousands of transactions a year and is able to take a personalized approach to dealing with its clients. For more information on the company’s services or 1031 exchanges in general, Mr. Bunje invites potential clients to visit www.1031pro.com, www.ies1031.com or www.reverse1031.com.

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COMPANY REPORT NAVIGATION

Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON Independent Exchange Services, Inc.

COMPANY CONTACT
Locations

The Greater Bay Area
The Nation

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SERVICES PERFORMED

Real Estate Exchange Services
Reverse Exchange Services

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON Independent Exchange Services, Inc.

Company Profile

Independent Exchange Services, Inc. and Reverse Exchange Services, Inc. provide IRS Section 1031 exchange services—essentially a deferral of capital gains taxes from the exchange of investment properties—for real estate investors throughout the Greater Bay Area and beyond. The company acts as a third party, qualified intermediary for various types of exchanges, including delayed, simultaneous, reverse, built-to-suit, personal property and international.

Vice President R. Ian Bunje says the company strives to be as service-driven as possible and make the exchange process simple and hassle-free for its clients. “We know each person’s questions, problems and issues differ, so we tailor each transaction to meet those specific needs.”

The company operates as part of the 1031 Strategies & Services Group. It’s a boutique exchange firm, which means it doesn’t handle thousands of transactions a year and is able to take a personalized approach to dealing with its clients. For more information on the company’s services or 1031 exchanges in general, Mr. Bunje invites potential clients to visit www.1031pro.com, www.ies1031.com or www.reverse1031.com.

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Company Philosophy

“Most of our business comes from word-of-mouth referrals from past customers, lawyers, accountants, and even our competition, so we make sure each client’s exchanges receive as much attention as everyone else’s, no matter the size. We strive to be as hands-on as possible, and we offer each client the same high level of customer service, whether we’re quickly responding to their phone calls and emails or putting the finishing touches on their deal.”

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Comparative Summary

Intermediaries are always looking for ways to discern themselves from their competition, and those that have earned the prestigious Diamond Certified award are already several steps ahead. In addition to its Diamond Certified status, Independent Exchange Services, Inc. differentiates itself by focusing entirely on one specific aspect of the industry: Section 1031 exchanges. “Essentially, we help investors defer payment of capital gains taxes that result from the buying and selling of investment properties,” explains co-owner Ian Bunje. “Section 1031 of the U.S. Tax Code allows taxpayers to invest this type of equity into replacement properties, and our certified exchange specialists and certified public accountants are trained to help them facilitate those exchanges.”

Independent Exchange Services has been providing Section 1031 exchange services for real estate investors throughout the Greater Bay Area and beyond since 1980, and its decades of experience have given it a unique perspective on how to best handle the intermediary process. “We’ve been doing this longer than just about any other company, and that’s translated into a high level of expertise that allows us to really focus on our customers,” says Mr. Bunje. “We like to sit down and get to know them instead of just gathering information and processing documents. We also understand that real estate transactions don’t just happen Monday through Friday, so we’re available every day of the week.”

To add to its customer-oriented approach to doing business, Independent Exchange Services is quick to inform clients of what services it can’t provide in addition to what it can. “For example, we can’t act as a tax advisor, but we’ll make sure every detail is covered so the exchange meets all IRS requirements,” says Mr. Bunje. “If we see something that doesn’t look right, we’ll raise a flag to ensure the client contacts the right people and makes the right decision. For us, it’s not just about collecting a fee—if the deal won’t benefit the client, we won’t go through with the transaction. We want our clients to come back a second and third time. Ultimately, they have to benefit from our services, not the other way around.”

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Industry Info

Before committing to an IRS Section 1031 exchange, it’s important to understand the basics. “1031 exchanges allow you to defer taxes on capital gains from the sale of investment properties if all the proceeds are promptly invested in replacement properties,” explains Ian Bunje, co-owner of Independent Exchange Services, Inc. in San Francisco. “Basically, you’re deferring the taxes until you sell the new property.” To get the most out of a 1031 exchange, it’s best to employ the services of a professional intermediary, but there are still some basic things you should know before making the initial call.

A 1031 exchange isn’t for personal use. The provision is only for investment and business properties, so you can’t swap your primary residence for another home. There are ways you can use a 1031 for swapping vacation homes, but this loophole is much narrower than it used to be. Some exchanges of personal property (like a painting) can qualify, but exchanges of corporate stock or partnership interests can’t.

“Like kind” is a rather broad phrase. Most exchanges must merely be of like kind, which doesn’t mean what most people think it means. You can exchange an apartment building for raw land, a ranch for a strip mall, or even one business for another.

Consider a delayed exchange. Classically, an exchange involves a simple swap of one property for another between two people. But the odds of finding someone with the exact property you want who wants the exact property you have are slim. For that reason, the vast majority of exchanges are delayed, three party or “Starker” exchanges (named for the first tax case that allowed them). In a delayed exchange, you need a middleman who holds the cash after you sell your property and uses it to buy the replacement property for you.

Designate replacement property. Once the sale of your property occurs, the intermediary will receive the cash—you can’t receive the cash or it will spoil the 1031 treatment. Also, within 45 days of the sale of your property, you must designate replacement property to the intermediary in writing, specifying the property you want to acquire. There’s debate about how many properties you can designate and what conditions you can impose. The IRS says you can designate three properties as the designated replacement property as long as you eventually close on one of them. Alternatively, you can designate more properties if you come within certain valuation tests. For example, you can designate an unlimited number of potential replacement properties as long as the fair market value of the replacement properties doesn’t exceed 200 percent of the aggregate fair market value of all the exchanged properties.

You must close within six months. The 180-day countdown starts right when the sale of your property closes. If you designate replacement property exactly 45 days later, you’ll have 135 days left to close.

If you receive cash, it’s taxed. You may have cash left over after the intermediary acquires the replacement property. If so, the intermediary will pay it to you at the end of the 180 days. That cash, also known as “boot,” will be taxed as partial sales proceeds from the sale of your property, generally as a capital gain.

Consider mortgages and other debt. One of the main ways people get into trouble with 1031 transactions is failing to consider loans or any debt on the replacement property. If you don’t receive cash back but your liability goes down, that too will be treated as your income, just like cash. Suppose you had a mortgage of $1 million on the old property, but your mortgage on the new property you receive in exchange is only $900,000. You have $100,000 of gain that’s also classified as boot, and it’ll be taxed.

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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a 1031 exchange?
A: “Section 1031 of the IRS tax code allows you to defer taxes on capital gains from the sale of investment properties if all the proceeds are promptly invested in replacement properties. Basically, you’re deferring the taxes until you sell the new property.”
 
Q: What types of real estate qualify for 1031 exchanges? Can I do a 1031 exchange on my vacation home or rental property?
A: “Vacant or raw land that’s held for investment purposes qualifies for a 1031 exchange. Properties you’re renting out qualify, but a primary residence or vacation home doesn’t.”
 
Q: When do I have to decide about making an exchange?
A: “You have to decide to engage in an exchange before you sell the relinquished property. If you sell the property before deciding to do an exchange, you can’t defer the capital gains by investing in the new property—the transaction has been completed and you’ve acquired the tax liability.”
 
Q: When is the 1031 exchange completed?
A: “It’s complete when you close on the replacement property.”
 
Q: Do I need to have a mortgage on the replacement property?
A: “No. The rule is, after paying off the mortgage, all the net proceeds from the sale must go into the replacement property. That means the new property must be of equal or greater value than the relinquished property. If you have the cash to pay the difference, you don’t need to have a mortgage on the replacement property.”
 
Q: Can the proceeds from the sale of a relinquished property be held in escrow?
A: “Yes. We warehouse the proceeds from the sale in client accounts and apply them to the purchase of a replacement property.”
 
Q: Is there a limit to how long the proceeds can remain in escrow?
A: “Yes. There are two deadlines, one at 45 days and another at 180 days. Starting from the day of the sale, you have up to 45 calendar days to identify one or more replacement properties. You have to close on one of the identified properties within 180 calendar days. If you miss either of these deadlines, you incur the capital gains tax liability from the sale. The deadlines are pretty much set in stone and can only be waived in cases where a natural disaster affects the property. Personal emergencies don’t count.”
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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Ralph Bunje Jr.

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE

Ralph Bunje Jr.: A Successful Exchange

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN FRANCISCO — Over the course of several decades working in the financial sector, Ralph Bunje Jr.’s professional emphasis gradually became more and more specialized. “After I got out of the Navy, I became a stockbroker,” he recounts. “About six years later, I became a CPA for a San Francisco firm, and after that I formed a financial consulting practice that handled a variety of needs. Today, we primarily handle 1031 exchanges, which is a process for deferring taxes on capital gains from the sale of investment properties.”

Today, as owner of Independent Exchange Services, Inc., Ralph says his favorite part of his job is helping his clients. “The current state of the economy has made things tough for many people, so when I meet with clients, my foremost concern is putting together something that will work for them in the long term. It’s not just about doing clerical work for them—it’s about making a difference in their lives.”

A resident of Foster City, Ralph spends most of his time outside of work pursuing a variety of pastimes, typically in the company of his wife, Sarah. “I’ve been married for 47 years and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” he says. “We do a lot of things together, including traveling, playing golf and attending local theater productions.” Ralph also enjoys spending time with his and Sarah’s children and grandchildren, although some traveling is usually involved. “Our son, Ian, and his family live locally, while our daughter, Katie, and her family live in Australia. We try to get over there once a year to see them, but we’ve also found that Hawaii is a good halfway point for all the families to come together.”

In regard to his life and career, Ralph espouses the importance of doing what you love. “In many respects, I haven’t had a job for 40 years—I’ve simply been pursuing an avocational interest that happens to produce an income. I think if you do what you enjoy for work, you’ll always do your best. And if you’re doing your best, people will want what you have to offer, which will translate to revenue. So, my advice is this: Don’t chase the money…chase what you love to do.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What are your favorite sports teams?
A: The San Francisco Giants and the San Francisco 49ers. I also enjoy going to Stanford University football games.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for dessert?
A: I don’t eat much dessert, but I do enjoy the occasional apple pie à la mode.

Q: If you could talk to anyone living or dead, who would it be?
A: Ronald Reagan. I actually worked for and traveled with him back when he was running for governor of California. He was a sound, solid individual, and working with him was an amazing experience.

Q: How do you like your eggs?
A: I like them both scrambled and fried.

Q: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
A: The love of my wife.

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Expert articles
  • The Benefits of a Reverse 1031 Exchange

    SAN FRANCISCO — IRC Section 1031 exchanges have been around since 1921, but up until 1980, you basically had to buy and sell on the same day, which made it a difficult feat to pull off. After 1984, the rules changed: exchangers now had a 45-day period following the close of escrow on a relinquished property to identify a replacement property. While this continues to be the case with 1031 exchanges today, finding the right property within 45 days can be quite challenging, especially with the complexity of today’s market.

    One way to address this is with a safe harbor reverse Section 1031 exchange, which is a transaction that’s facilitated via an Exchange Accommodation Titleholder (EAT). First, your Qualified Intermediary will set up an EAT to buy and hold the property you wish to purchase and “park” it for you. You’ll need to identify the Relinquished Property you’re selling with the EAT, and you must complete the sale and purchase of your Replacement Property from the EAT within 180 days following its purchase of the parked property. This gives you more control over the timing of your transaction and eliminates the 45-day period to identify a Replacement Property in a regular deferred exchange, since it has already been identified and parked for you. 

    A reverse exchange is a more expensive transaction than a regular 1031 exchange because it involves a lot more work, but it also provides several advantages. Having additional time to manage your exchange enhances your negotiating power for both your purchase and sale, which typically produces an economic benefit in your favor. Since you have the opportunity to purchase the right property at a price that fits your long-term needs, you reduce the risk of failing your exchange and becoming a taxpayer.

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Expert video tip
  • Video: Understanding 1031 Reverse Exchanges

    Complete Video Transcription:

    SAN FRANCISCO — Host, Sarah Rutan: A 1031 exchange can be a beneficial financial tool, but the limited time constraints can make it a difficult feat to pull off. That’s why it’s worthwhile to consider doing a reverse exchange. Today we’re in San Francisco with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Ralph Bunje Jr. of Independent Exchange Services, Inc. to learn more.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Ralph Bunje Jr.: One of the things that a lot of people have been asking about is something that has changed in the 1031 Exchange Industry. Want to keep in mind the industry has been around since 1921, but doing – but doing exchanges up until 1980, you basically had to buy and sell on the same day. And that was really a trick and it’s an even bigger trick in today’s world. So, what happened after 1980 is that you had a 45/180 day period following the close of escrow on the one you sold, your relinquished property, to buy your replacement property. But the biggest problem was identifying something in 45 days, in writing, that you would be purchasing within 180 days. What we found is that in the current market environment, where there’s a lot of buyers around, it’s been very hard to nail down the right property.

    So, we do reverse exchanges and they’ve been allowed by the IRS since 1980. And we’ve been doing them pretty regularly now, especially in today’s market, where we will actually buy and park the property you wish to purchase. In other words, we’ll work with you and with your lender to put together a deal where we buy the property and park it to – park it for you. You then lease it from us during a 180-day period and, during that 180-day period, you have the opportunity to sell your property and buy it from us. And, as long as you do that, you’ve bought the right property. You’ve got it at a right price. You’ve improved your negotiating position on the sale. You’ve improved your negotiation position on the buy. You’ve made an ec – you’ve actually made an economically superior investment.

    One of the nice things about it is it means you have purchased the right property and you did not buy the wrong property because you were running out of time to identify something. You bought the right property which means when you go through the next five years, you’re pleased that you did it and you got it done on time. It’s a more expensive transaction. I’ll give you a heads up on it because there’s a lot more work involved, but it’s one of those transactions, or we find in most cases, people actually make money on a reverse exchange because of the benefits that they get with the improved negotiation position on both they sell and their buy side.

    Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local top rated companies, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org.

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Independent Exchange Services, Inc. WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
  • Independent Exchange Services, Inc. SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS
COMPANY WEBSITE
www.ies1031.com
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON Independent Exchange Services, Inc.
Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i

Each surveyed customer was asked, “If you needed any helpful expertise, did this company provide that expertise?” To calculate this score, total “Yes” responses were divided by total responses (excluding those that stated they hadn’t needed any expertise).

Company Credentials i
  • Liability Insurance
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 264 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
Independent Exchange Services, Inc. : Average 9.1 out of 10 based on 264 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Lillian S.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

1 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Ralph is very good at what he does. We had complete confidence in him.

It was easy to work with him, and he did what needed to be done. Everything from start to finish was just easy, and that fact is wonderful.

Yvonne H.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

2 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They know their business. I've worked with a few different companies in the past, and I think Independent Exchange Services left them in the dust.

They were very knowledgeable. They did every single thing I asked of them, and believe me when I tell you I worked their heinies off.

John L.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

3 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I'm completely satisfied with them.

Basically, I think they are all honest, quick, knowledgeable, proactive, respectful, professional, and so on and so forth.

Jessica B.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

4 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I think they're doing a good job. One thing I'd say as a rule of thumb is that you can't or shouldn't rely on somebody else to get things completely, 100% right.

They were quite responsive.

Ann B.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

5 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were very nice.

They were accessible.

Charles S.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

6 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I don't know what I'd say.

They really helped me through the process of exchanging the property.

Gail B.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

7 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are very competent and excellent at what they do.

They were competent and knew what they were doing.

Marilyn B.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

8 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I don

Ralph is very helpful, very gracious with his time, and he's very unveiled with giving information.

Marianne H.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

9 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I think very highly of them. They are all knowledgeable, honest, straightforward, and responsive.

I think probably the ease of working with Ian Bunje was the best thing. He was personable, honest, and very well-educated.

Michael M.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

10 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Both Ian and Ralph are responsive and really on top of things.

I liked that I didn't have to worry about anything. Knowing that they were there to take care of everything was quite a relief for me.

Wendi G.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

11 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

It's an easy process to do business with them.

Professionalism and integrity

Mary R.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

12 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They got the job done. I felt like they were always working with me and never against me.

They know what they're doing and they get the job done. I even think one time I got a call back after their normal business hours, which I think makes them very dedicated to the work they do.

Tomoko S.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

13 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would highly recommend them. They're a great company to deal with.

For me, they were honest, responsive, smart, and explained everything I needed to know in detail.

Barbara W.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

14 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're professional, competent, detailed, and thorough. I would highly recommend their services.

They just took care of business and were very easy to work with. I had no issues and I'm very satisfied.

Virginia C.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

15 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Ralph is competent and knowledgeable. I had no doubt at any time that he didn't know what he was doing.

Prompt and responsive

William P.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

16 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are an outstanding company.

They're personable and they pay attention to minor details. I know a few different people who have used them in the past, and what I know for certain is they establish a professional and friendly relationship with all of their clients. When I'd call in, I felt like they knew me, even though they probably looked my number up when they saw it popping up on the caller ID. I just felt comfortable and confident in them.

Thomas G.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

17 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Very easy to work with

I was able to get in touch with them immediately, and they returned my calls promptly. It was a very easy transaction.

Cherie C.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

18 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

That it was professional and efficient

It was professional and efficient.

Dan R.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

19 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Everything was great.

They provide a great service. I use them all the time.

Maurice S.

VERIFIED Independent Exchange Services, Inc. CUSTOMER

20 of 264

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They did a good job.

They did a good job.

Read All 264 Survey Responses at Ratings View