What will happen if I don’t square off my option contract position?

Authored by
Team Espresso
November 14 2022
3 min read

What if I don't square off options on expiry?

An option contract establishes a right to buy or sell an asset at a specified price (the strike price) on or before the expiration date. The value of options is based on the value of underlying financial assets like stocks. The buyer of an options contract has the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell the underlying securities at the strike price on or before the contract's expiration date.

What is squaring off, and what happens if I don’t square off my option contract position?

The expiration date is the single most critical consideration when trading options. In some cases, delaying closing your trade might be hazardous, which may result in penalties and losses. Squaring off means closing your open position in the market. For instance, if you have bought 10 shares of a company, you will square off your position by selling all those 10 shares in the market.

In most transactions, two parties are involved – the buyer and the seller. The requisite shares are deposited into their account when a buyer buys shares, and full payment is expected during the trade. The stock market will sell any shares a buyer fails to pay for if the buyer defaults on payment.

For a sell order to go through, the trader's account must provide a certain number of shares. The underlying security will be auctioned off on the open market if the seller cannot furnish it.

If an options contract position is not squared off before the expiration date, the trader can lose the total premium and any taxes and brokerage charges paid.

You can utilize leverage to make purchases or sales during the trading day with an intraday (MIS/CO) order (up to 5 times the money in your account). Over-the-limit buy trades and sell/short trades, in which you sell a stock but don't own it in Demat, are examples of hedging strategies. However, you must settle such intraday deals on the same business day you make them. If you don't close out your intraday trade by 3:20 PM EST, the system will try to do so automatically on your behalf.

However, there is always the chance that the stock you are trading will hit its upper or lower circuit, leaving you unable to close out your position options contract. Leveraged holdings carry the potential for substantial overnight and auction risk.

Solutions if I don’t square off my position Options contract

The most common options contracts are "puts" and "calls." Both can be purchased to gain an opinion on the security's value or reduce risk. Furthermore, they can be auctioned off to bring in some extra cash. Put options can be obtained to profit from a rise in prices, while call options are purchased as a collateralized wager on a stock's or index's recognition.

The owner of a call option has the discretionary right but not the obligation to acquire the agreed-upon number of shares at the current market price from the market. On the other hand, buyers have the right but not the obligation to sell shares at the agreed-upon price.



Q. If I don't exercise my call option, what will happen?

With an options contract, you are not obligated to take any action. If the contract is not fulfilled by the due date, it automatically terminates. Any option premium you paid will be returned to the vendor.

Q. What will happen if an option is not exercised before it expires?

An option contract, in contrast to stock, has an end date. It will lose much of its value if you can't buy, sell, or exercise your option before its expiration date. An option contract ceases trading at its expiration and is either exercised or worthless.

Q. What will happen if an option holder does not exercise their right to sell before its expiration?

If the option's strike price has not been reached by its expiration date, your brokerage will automatically close the deal and remove the option from your list of open positions. Nothing on your part is required for that to occur.

The Expiration Date of an Option is the last day on which the Optionee may exercise the Option by the provisions of the Options Contract, or the previous day until the Option is valid.


In this blog, we learn about the relationship between calls, puts and the underlying futures contract, called Put-call parity.