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.
Contrary to the sellers' and their super sales_conscious agents' familiar claim that "There is nothing to lose in signing those documents," quite the complete opposite is true _ namely, a great deal, in fact, could potentially be lost particularly by the buyer by signing an LOI to a supposed seller. Why? In a word, this is because the LOI is actually fraught with many incalculable legal flaws, traps and pitfalls, much of which could often be prohibitively costly for the buyer, according to legal authorities and contract law experts. (See below for more on this)