The Santa Barbara Association of Realtors gave its coveted Jack Kelly Exchange Award to Craig Lieberman and Pedro Vazquez, principals of the Apartment Investment Specialists, at its annual Awards/Installation Luncheon held Dec. 9.

In addition to their ethics and complete understanding of their field, the two real estate professionals were recognized for their proficiency, skill, ingenuity and thoroughness in a specific deal. The award is given in memory of two outstanding members of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors.

Also known as the “1031 Exchange of the Year,” the award acknowledges agents who meet the challenges inherent in such a transaction. A 1031 Exchange, as described by the IRS code, is an exchange of certain types of property that may defer capital gains that would otherwise be due when the sale is completed.

The “winning” transaction was a multi-leg exchange, meaning it involved more than one property for the exchange of the one previously sold. The Apartment Investment Specialists’ client, with only $565,000 in an exchange account, was in need of a replacement property for a recent sale. Lieberman and Vazquez, who represented both buyer and seller on both “upleg” properties, were successful in finding a very unlikely combination of properties that would satisfy stringent IRS requirements.

“Besides the obvious benefit to the buyer, one of the best outcomes to these sales transactions, at least for our team based on our desire to exceed client expectations, is that not only was the buyer ecstatic with the outcome because of the unlikelihood of finding suitable replacement properties,” Lieberman said, “but also the sellers of each property were very happy with how seamless the sales transactions occurred given the challenges involved.”

— Jennifer Goddard is a publicist representing the Apartment Investment Specialists.