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Define Option in Real Estate


An option is a special agreement in which a property owner (the optionor) gives someone else (the optionee) the chance to buy or lease the property at a later time, but before a specific deadline. The optionee pays the owner some money to secure this opportunity, and the terms of the deal can't be changed during the option period. The optionee can choose whether or not to use this right.


A homeowner agrees to give a potential buyer the option to purchase their house within the next six months for $300,000. The buyer pays the homeowner $5,000 for this option. During the six-month option period, the homeowner cannot change the agreed-upon price or terms. At any point within the six months, the buyer can decide to go ahead with the purchase or walk away from the deal.

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There are a few more points to consider about real estate options:

Exercising the option: If the optionee decides to go ahead with the purchase or lease, they must notify the optionor within the specified option period. If they fail to do so, the option will expire, and they will lose their right to buy or lease the property under the agreed terms.

Non-refundable consideration: Typically, the option fee paid by the optionee to the optionor is non-refundable, even if the optionee chooses not to exercise the option. However, if the optionee proceeds with the purchase or lease, the option fee might be applied towards the purchase price or lease payments.

Extensions and renewals: Sometimes, an option agreement might include provisions for extending or renewing the option period under specific conditions, such as paying an additional fee. This can provide the optionee with more time to make a decision or secure financing.

Transferability: Depending on the terms of the option agreement, the optionee may or may not be allowed to transfer their option rights to another party. If transferability is allowed, the optionee could potentially sell their option rights to someone else before the option expires.

Negotiating terms: Both the optionor and optionee should carefully consider and negotiate the terms of the option agreement, including the option period, the purchase or lease price, and any conditions or contingencies.

Understanding these additional aspects of real estate options will help you better serve your clients and navigate the complexities of option agreements in various real estate transactions.
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"Wit & Whimsy with the Dumb Ox: Unlocking Knowledge with Rhyme:"

In the world of real estate play,
An option can brighten your day,
A chance to buy or lease, you see,
For optionee, a chance to be.

The optionor, they do agree,
To hold the chance for a small fee,
The terms are set, they cannot sway,
Until the deadline's had its day.

The optionee, they have the choice,
To use their right or not give voice,
To buy or lease, they must decide,
Before the deadline's passed and died.

An option contract, it is true,
Can offer chances, old and new,
To buy or lease, it's up to thee,
The choice is yours, quite simply.

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