What do I do with the option fee check?

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The quick answer is cash it and keep it. The seller earns this money at contract execution. It is a payment from the buyer to the seller for the unrestricted right to terminate the contract during the Option Period. Option fee money is often confused with earnest money. Earnest money is a deposit held in escrow and applied towards the purchase of the home. An option fee is a compensation earned by the seller for giving the buyer the freedom to terminate and dismiss all obligations.

The contract may say it is credited to the buyer at closing. It’s yours no matter what happens.

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