Many taxpayers will identify multiple potential replacement property candidates during the 45 day identification period. They don’t know if they’re going to be one, two, three, or more potential replacement properties but they want to keep hope alive as to those potential candidates.
You do not have to buy all of the identified properties under the three property rule or the 200% rule. If, however you’re using the 95% rule, you do have to actually receive 95% of the value of those identify properties that you listed. Lots of people will identify backup properties and multiple replacement properties in order to increase the chance of success for them to complete their exchange.
The flexibility of the identification rules should not be confused with the general requirement that in order to defer 100% of the gains you need to continue your investment into properties of equal or greater Value, Equity and off-set any Debt Relief.