I've been reading up on self-funded searchers, but I still have a few areas where I need some clarifications.

1. Do most searchers send an IOI first with a price range or go straight to an LOI? The more posts I've read on the process, it seems it's more straight to LOIs.

2. I have several templates for LOIs, and while I understand it's non-binding, it does cover some very key parts (price, capital structure, working cap estimates, seller note terms, etc.), does it make sense to use a lawyer to draft the first LOI? I was looking for copy of an LOI that actually lays out terms to see how others have done it. For instance on the capital structure, do I explicitly put down a purchase price of $4m, with a 10% seller's note at x% terms, $700k of my own capital, SBA for $2M, and pref equity for $900k. Would I state it down to that level of detail in an LOI before I talk to the bank & investors?

3. Can you mix financing sources of ROBS and a HELOC for example? Does it ultimately not matter where it comes from as long as the funds are available?

4. Preferred investors: there seems to be a lot of flexibility in terms of how this is structured. I'm just wondering, does the pref always roll over into common once principal/accrued is paid off or is there flexibility there and the standard I keep seeing is a 2x multiplier, is that the rule of thumb or how much wiggle room is here?

5. Let's say the LOI is accepted, during the DD period is there a good timeline on when to get things done? Are you talking to a lawyer and accountant in week 1 to get the legal structure and QOE ball rolling? I was hoping to find a timeline of what a past deal looked like post-LOI to close week-by-week.

I know some of these are probably more on the basic side, but any input would help clarify things on my end. Thank you in advance!