Which is Better: An Offer to Purchase or Letter of Intent? First, let's define the two, then I'll discuss when to use a Letter of Intent. 1. Purchase Offer, or Purchase Agreement _ A legal document that describes the price, terms, contingencies, and other details of how a buyer would be willing to purchase a piece of real estate. 2. Letter of Intent (LOI) _ A preliminary document outlining the price, terms, and other transaction details that a buyer would be be interested in purchasing a piece of real estate.
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.