Using Letters of Intent With Real Estate Agents. Some real estate agents and real estate brokers prefer to write up a contract for each offer, while others use a letter of intent to express interest in a property and to work out the details before writing up a full contract to purchase real estate. Many bank owned properties (also known as REO properties) are explicitly telling agents not to submit letters of intent on their listings, but with private sellers, a letter of intent can be a good way to introduce your creative offer to a seller without a huge amount of time invested by your real estate agent.
A fundamental flaw of the LOI, lies in what Vasilios J. Kalogredis, a Wayne, Pennsylvania attorney, calls "the uncertainty and potential risk of any such undertaking." Kalogredisis, a business contract law expert, explains it this way: "Letters of intent are often touted as a 'non_legally binding' way to get the parties to set forth in writing what the undertaking is among them relative to a transaction. Too often, parties will sign such a document, feeling that they have little or nothing to lose by doing so... [True, that's] one of the attractive elements of the letter of intent [its purported non_binding nature]. However, courts have found letters of intent to create binding obligations, even if the letter itself does not explicitly state that it is binding... certain provisions within the document may indeed [still] have legal effect."