I use LOI's a lot when I am trying to buy a property for much less than what the seller says they want, more flexible terms than the seller says they want OR if I am unfamiliar with the property and area I will use the LOI to start the negotiating process while I do my due diligence work in the background. Remember, most of the time an LOI is not a formal offer but mainly a point of understanding between you and the seller.
4. On Offer acceptance there is either a contract generated or a pro forma invoice generated. Since the offer is binding once accepted, the offer if well enough detailed and advised can and often does take the place of the contract.* Customarily in Real Estate transactions the purchase offer itself is generally also the contract for purchase as well. The offer becomes a binding contract once accepted.The Letter of Intent is not binding, and rather silly at the worst of times. An LOI by definition only registers intent to purchase, and it specifies this intent weakly, and due to its ambiguity should be avoided.