Buy to open vs. Buy to close

Buy to open vs. Buy to close: Buy to open means a trader is opening a new contract and purchasing a put or call option. In contrast, Buy to close refers to a trader selling a call option/put option and ending the contract. The phrase buy to open means when an options trader creates an extended position. When a short options position is closed, it is known as Buy to close.


An option is a purchase and sale agreement. Investors can buy or sell shares under an option contract at a predetermined price within a predetermined time frame. Stocks and options are not the same things. Despite being derived from stock, options do not indicate ownership.

Types of Options

Call options and Put options are the types of options.An option holder can acquire shares through a call option and sell shares through a put option. Both of these options are derivative securities since their prices depend on the value of other assets.


Options are of two types:
  1. Call options.
  2. Put options.

Call options

In exchange for a small premium, call option investors wager that the price will increase before the option expires. The buyer of a call option assumes that the value of the fundamental asset will exceed the open market strike price. They purchase the item at the strike price from the option seller and then sell it again. In return for the premium, the seller of a call option wagers that the asset’s market value won’t rise over the price outlined in the options contract.

Put options

The buyer of put options forecasts a decline in stock prices below the strike price for the basic shares. A put buyer bets that the market price will fall below the strike price so they can sell the contract to an option seller, who would buy it at a higher or predetermined strike price. Conversely, a put seller or writer wagers that the market price won’t go below a certain level.

Options Trading

Options trading is purchasing or trading options on the open market. Traders have two options either they can agree to a contract that will create a new option or exchange their positions for an option that already exists.

Options Trading

Options trading terms

The options trading industry includes the following terms:

  • Buy to open.
  • Buy to close.
  • Sell to open.
  • Sell to close.

Understanding Buy to open

Buy to open indicates that you want to change your mind: You will pay a greater price now to safeguard your position in exchange for the ability to act as soon as feasible (before the contract expires). When you buy to open, you’re committing to a new option contract and ensuring your place within it.

Example of Buy to open

Consider a trader who researched and predicted that the price of ABC stock would increase from $50 to $70 within the upcoming 12 months. For ABC, the trader may buy to open a call. The strike price may be $60 with an expiration date of around a year from now.

Understanding Buy to close

Buy to close entails trading your share of an existing option: You received payment to develop that option in the past, but you are now compensating someone else to do so until the contract’s end. When you buy to close, you close out your position and risk by releasing yourself from the existing contract.

Example of Buy to close

Consider a trader who wrote a short-call contract and now wishes to lock in a profit (or could experience a minor loss if he thinks the price of the first asset will increase much more). The trader has the option to end the call before it expires. He will have to “Buy to Close” the brief call he originally penned to do this. He might also have to consider the option’s value; ideally, it will be lower than the price he sold initially.

Comparison between Buy to open and Buy to call

The difference is as follows:

Buy to Open Buy to Close
1. Option buyers use this term. 1. Option sellers use this term.
2. It has a significant potential for payoff. 2. It tries to take advantage of time passing.
3. A buyer uses it to start a new options position. 3. A seller uses it to close out an active options position.
4. It relates to a fresh long position. 4. It relates to an already existing short position.

Pros of Buy to open

The pros of using Buy to open are as follows:

  1. This is beneficial if the trader still wants to enter the market but lacks the funds to purchase the entire contract.
  2. It enables the trader to develop a position in the primary asset without putting up the entire contract’s value.
  3. It is suitable for speculating on both increasing and declining prices.

Cons of Buy to open

The cons of using Buy to open are as follows:

  1. If the market goes against them, this can result in losses.
  2. To enter the transaction, the trader must post a margin.
  3. The fact that the trader won’t get any interest on their margin while in the deal is another drawback.

Pros of Buy to close

The pros of using Buy to close are as follows:

  1. It helps you to negotiate a price for a valuable asset.
  2. It can aid in risk management for your entire portfolio.
  3. You are essentially hedging your position and lowering your risk of loss by buying to close.
  4. This can be useful if you anticipate an asset price increase shortly but wish to guard against any downside business risk.

Cons of Buy to close

The cons of using Buy to close are as follows:

  1. Moreover, because you are paying for two transactions with this order type, it may cost more than other options (the Buy and the sell).
  2. The major drawback is that you can’t profit from possible gains if the asset’s price increases more than you predict.

When to use Buy to open

Typically, “buy to open” refers to purchasing an options contract or beginning a long position on a derivative. Long indicates that the trader anticipates an increase in the asset’s value. When you “buy to open,” you want the deal to close so you can start owning the asset.


Buy to open is used to purchase options contracts to begin an extended position.

When to use Buy to close

A “buy to close” order instructs you to purchase a contract that is now part of your portfolio to close it out. If you wanted to leave a position, you would have had to enter into the arrangement with a “buy to open” order.


Buy to close is used to purchase a contract you already have in the portfolio to quit that position.

Buy-to-open tips

Buy-to-open tips are as follows:

  • You can sell a call option to close if the strike price rises before the expiration date.
  • Using a buy to open for an out-of-the-money put option together with buying the underlying stock is preferable.
  • If you wish to profit from changes in the price of an underlying asset by buying a call or put option, a buy-to-open position can help you lower or balance the risks in your financial portfolio.

Buy-to-close tips

Buy-to-close tips are as follows:

  • Buy to close can help you decrease your possible losses. To avoid more significant or larger losses, you may decide to buy to close at that point if the fundamental asset’s price falls.
  • Time elapse benefits option sellers. You can buy to close if the essential asset’s value rises to get returns sooner. For instance, you might sell at-the-money options with a 12-month expiration date. After four months, the essential asset’s price increases by 20%. It is an excellent time to buy to close so that you can get the majority of your returns right away.

Mistakes to avoid with Options

Mistakes to avoid with options are as follows:

  1. Some traders overlook options written in the European style, which expire on the third Thursday rather than the third Friday. You may suffer significant financial consequences if your options lapse before you realize it. To avoid this, always ensure that you close out your European option trades on the third Thursday before they end on Friday.
  2. If the transaction is profitable on the expiration day, you could be tempted to leave it open, or if it’s losing money, you might want to try to make up some of your losses. However, options lose value more quickly the closer the expiration date gets. You can choose to close your option trades and receive your profit before your options expire to protect your capital.

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are some questions people ask most frequently related to Buy to open vs. Buy to close:

1. What is the meaning of the sell-to-open option?

The term sell to open describes the act of a trader (the original option buyer) selling a put or call option. It denotes the sale of an existing opportunity.

2. What is the meaning of sell to close option?

The term sell to close describes a trader who sells a call or put option to finish a contract (the original option buyer). It entails selling the contract to someone else.

3. Is it more beneficial to buy a stock at open or close?

The best technique for achieving your goal depends on your preferences and what you believe the price of stocks will do. To secure your position and earn a return before expiration, you can choose either a buy-to-open or buy-to-close option. The latter will minimize your potential loss.

4. Can I buy to open anytime?

Yes, you can buy to open whenever you want. You can purchase to open right now and close to exit the following day. Everything depends on your trading approach and how you desire your experience with options to go.

5. Is option trading good for newcomers?

Options trading requires margin accounts and is more complicated than simple stock trading. Therefore, some beginners may benefit from using basic options methods.

6. What distinguishes a Call Option from a Put Option?

A call option holder has the option, but not the obligation, to purchase the primary asset at a set price at the option’s expiration or earlier. Instead, a put contract allows the buyer to sell.

7. What distinguishes buy to open from sell to open?

Purchasing a derivative to open a position is known as buying to open. Investors may also sell derivatives contracts. To open a position by selling a product instead of buying one is known as selling to open. Investors require funds to cover the premiums on the options they wish to purchase.

8. What distinguishes purchase to close from sell to close?

A position opened by selling options is closed and paid for by buy-to-close (BTC) orders. STC orders cancel a position opened by purchasing options while also receiving a credit. The premium obtained or paid concerning the opening order determines whether you made or lost money on a trade.

9. When should you sell to close?

Traders will frequently sell to close the call options contracts they currently own when they determine they no longer want to have a long bullish position on the base asset. When they no longer desire to keep a long bearish position on the underlying asset, they sell to close put options contracts that they now own.

10. Can you sell to close before the contract expires?

To close the trade before its expiration date, you either purchase or sell. You take no action because the options expire worthless and out of money. The options expire in the capital, and if exercised, they typically result in a trade of the underlying stock.

11. Why is it preferable to sell options than to buy them?

Although an option buyer’s losses are unlimited, they are limited to the premium paid. On the other side, an option seller runs the danger of suffering permanent losses while only being able to benefit to the extent of the premium paid.

12. How much time does it take to learn how to trade options?

Learning options trading from the start takes between three and six months. Before trading the options, it is best first to understand the concept and then practice placing orders.


Buy to open vs. Buy to close:
  • The term buy to open describes a broker who opens a new contract and buys a put or call option. In contrast, buy to close implies a broker selling a put or call option and terminating the agreement.

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