For property owners who are interested in participating in a 1031 exchange, there are four types of real estate exchanges that can fall under 1031: simultaneous exchange, delayed exchange, reverse exchange, and construction or improvement exchange.
A simultaneous exchange is one type of 1031 exchange that involves acquiring a new property and selling an existing property on the same day. If either of them is delayed, then the exchange may be disqualified. One example of a simultaneous exchange is swapping deeds with the owner of another investment property. 
The simultaneous exchange can also be facilitated by a qualified intermediary, which is a third party that is specifically trained to structure and handle these types of transactions. Without the help of a qualified intermediary, you risk incurring a large tax burden from failing to meet the requirements of a 1031 exchange.
A delayed exchange is the most commonly used type of 1031 exchange. A delayed exchange makes use of the 45-day identification period and the 180-day purchase period to complete the exchange. Property owners can relinquish or sell their investment property before purchasing another, as long as it is within that time period.
A reverse exchange is unique because it involves finding an investment property first before selling your current property. Similar with a delayed exchange, you will have 45 days to identify which one of your investment properties will be relinquished. The 180-day purchase period also applies so you need to complete the sale within that time period. 
Finally, a construction or improvement exchange allows property owners to make a few improvements to the property before the exchange takes place. Under this setup, the property is placed with a qualified intermediary for up to 180 days. During this period, the owner can use the exchange equity to make the necessary improvements. However, for this to be free from taxes, all exchange equity has to be spent by making improvements to the property or as down payment. It also cannot be changed significantly because it needs to be the same property that was identified on the 45th day. After these improvements, the property still needs to be at equal or greater value. 
No matter what type of 1031 exchange you are going for, it is important to understand everything it entails. Investors should be smart about these exchanges if they want to enjoy its tax benefits. Working with a qualified intermediary is highly recommended. 1031 exchanges can be useful if handled properly, so make sure you know what you are doing.