There _ we got that out of the way! OK. Now let's look at when to use a Letter of Intent vs. a Purchase Offer. I am specifically going to address this when looking at buying an apartment building or commercial real estate. The standard contract used when purchasing real estate is called a Purchase Offer, or a Purchase and Sale Agreement. You probably used this to buy your own house or condo.
Build a list of things that you will be addressing in the Purchase Offer and decide how you want each of them handled. Now you will not be able to cover EVERY scenario but you will be much further ahead (and prepared) when it comes to crunch time. What do you do then? Present the offer to the seller. Make sure you have an ending day and time for your offer to expire. You do NOT want the seller thinking this over for too long.