To successfully avoid income taxes in a tax deferred exchange you will need the services of a neutral third party to hold temporary title to the properties involved until the exchange is completed.
There are many names for this entity. The most common is trustee, but also exchange facilitators or exchange accommodators or qualified intermediary.
Their fees can vary so it pays to shop around a bit. Most trustees employ attorneys, accountants or other professional with a background in taxes, law and real estate.
The exchange trustee should never actually take possession of your money. It should remain in the trust account of your local escrow company or closing attorney depending upon what state you live in and how real estate transactions are conducted there.
You cannot act as your own exchange facilitator.
The trustee cannot be any of the following:
Your real estate agent or broker,
Your investment banker or broker,
OR anyone else who has worked for you in any of those capacities within the previous TWO YEARS
They cannot act as your facilitator and will cause the exchange to be taxable.
It is best to be safe and use an independent trustee.