The point is that the often_heard notion and claims by some sellers or their overzealous agents and brokers that the use of the LOI to initiate a purchasing proposal by a buyer "is how it is usually done and this is how it should be," may be applicable and prudent only in the minds, the imagination, and hopes or dreams of those sellers, especially the more marginal ones and their brokers and agents who operate on the fringes largely on the Internet. It is NOT a view that is shared by the broad spectrum of credible buyers, more especially when the "sellers" involved are largely unknown and obscure operators.
We find exactly the opposite to be true. If you were to go to an unknown area, would you want a map of the area? Well that is exactly what the LOI is: a map of the major deal points. In today's busy world it is important to be sure two parties are going down the same road and in the same direction before spending too much time working out all the details of a transaction.