8. What is an ‘option’?
In legal terms, an option gives a party the choice to conclude a purchase agreement with a different party on the basis of a unilateral statement. Both parties are then in agreement on the conditions of the sale, but the buyer is granted, for example, an extra week on the cooling-off period.
Options are still common for the purchase of a newly constructed house, but not for an existing property. The term ‘option’ is frequently used incorrectly in this regard. In that case, it means certain promises that a seller’s estate agent can make to an interested buyer during the negotiation process. For example, a promise may entail an interested buyer being given a few days to consider an offer. The estate agent will strive to not enter into negotiations with other parties in the meantime. The interested buyer can use this time to gather information on their financing or the utility options for the house. You cannot demand an option. The seller and the seller’s agent decide whether certain promises will be made during the negotiation process.