What does it mean for a property to be under Option Conrtact?

A buyer can pay the seller an agreed upon amount of money known as the option fee for the unrestricted right to terminate contract for any reason during this specified period which is usually 7-14 days long.  The buyer pays the seller the agreed upon amount which might be anywhere from 50.00 to 200.00. The option period starts the day after the contract is executed (Both parties have signed/initialed contract and it is finalized). During the option period, the buyer schedules the inspection and reviews the results.  He/she may attempt to renegotiate sales price at this point but seller may be unwilling to do so. The buyer can then either continue with contract or Opt Out of contract by giving written notice to the seller before 5:00 PM on the last day of the option period.  If the buyer opts out, the seller keeps the option fee but the buyer should receive a refund of earnest money and be excused from the contract unless there are other irregular circumstances at play.