Ziad K. Abdelnour, President & CEO Blackhawk Partners, Inc, the New York_based advisory firm on such matters, puts it this way: "Giving a Letter of Intent only means 'Yes I'm intent to buy the goods but I can change my mind anytime.' A letter of Intent is not a binding contract. [Hence] The Letter of Intent is a total waste of time on a worthless piece of paper."
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.