I can not speak for the owners of this particular property, but most properties on the market (especially in slow selling markets like this one) should be open to rent to buy offers (or lease options).
I would suggest speaking with a real estate attorney even before you sign a contract to purchase with a lease option. I suggest this because the one time option payment that is usually posted up front in transactions like this might not be refundable to you in the case that you do not purchase the home. Like earnest money in a purchase transaction, you want to protect this investment of yours to the degree possible.
If you need a referral for an attorney, I'd be happy to provide you with a few. And if you don't already have a real estate agent, I'd suggest interviewing a couple before you make your decision.
I have also included some links on how to choose a Realtor if you are just starting out whether you are buying or selling.
Let me know if you have any questions or if you need additional assistance. Good luck.
Broker Associate, Sudler Sotheby's International Realty