When the buyer presents a Letter of Intent (LOI) instead of an Offer to Purchase, you do not have as strong of an offer and the percent of such offers that actually close will reduce. It is also difficult to get buyers to make an earnest money deposit on a Letter of Intent. The major problem is these agreements usually require that the seller cannot look at any other offers for a period of 30╉ days while the buyer is reviewing the records of the business. Many Letters of Intent will have a financing contingency. When the owner is offering substantial seller financing, there should be minimal contingencies for financing.
First my disclaimer. Laws vary from state to state and do change from time to time. This information should not be construed as legal advice. When you engage in any type of real estate or legal transaction, you should seek competent legal and real estate advice from a professional.