An agreement to keep open, over a set period, an offer to sell or purchase property. The option must be supported by its own actual consideration, separate and independent from the purchase price of the property. A mere recital of consideration alone is not sufficient except in a lease option situation, in which the provisions of the lease are themselves sufficient consideration to support the option. The option must contain all the essential terms of the underlying contract of sale so that a complete binding contract is created immediately upon the optionee’s election to exercise his right to purchase or sell. If the optionee elects not to exercise the option, the option or keeps the option money and neither party is obligated to perform. Since “time is of the essence” in an option agreement, the option automatically expires if not exercised prior to the termination date. An option is not an interest in land and therefore not capable of comprising the security for a mortgage.