Darn, there's a lot of bad advice out there. And there have been whole books and courses written on the subject. (I personally really like them--that's just my preference.) A few very quick thoughts:
First, everything's negotiable. The length of the lease. The length of the option. The rent. The amount to be credited to the purchase price. The purchase price itself. Sure, there are some rough guidelines, but one of the beauties of a lease-option is that they can be tailored to fit the needs of both the owner and the tenant-buyer.
Very, very generally:
You open your market up to a wider number of people. Rather than just appealing to renters (as with a lease) or buyers (as with a sale), you can appeal to both.
Many tenant-buyers do take somewhat better care of the property than do straight renters. Also, if the lease and option are structured properly, you (the owner) can shift most of the burden for upkeep and maintenance to the tenant-buyer.
You can find a buyer now but--if values rise--sell for a price that reflects some of that increase in value.
It doesn't work if you need all the cash from a sale right now. The sale, if it occurs, will be at some point in the future. And there's no assurance of a sale.
It can be trickier getting rid of a tenant-buyer than a straight tenant. With a straight tenant who isn't paying, you can evict him/her. If the lease-option isn't done properly (or even if it is), the tenant-buyer can assert equitable interest in the property, perhaps requiring you to foreclose on him/her.
A lot of people think they understand lease-options, but don't. For example, the option fee generally is non-refundable (that's good for the seller), but a lot of tenant-buyers don't understand that and claim they've been ripped off when they don't get their "deposit" (it's not a deposit) back.
A lot of real estate agents aren't enthusiastic about lease-options because they'll only receive their commission if and when the sale closes. (Actually, there are some ways around that, but most agents aren't aware of them.)
A few other quick thoughts:
There are ways for both buyers and sellers to protect themselves in a volatile market. And there are ways for tenant-buyers to protect themselves (such as filing a notice of agreement to cloud the title, and to take steps to make sure that the owner continues to pay the mortgage). There are ways for the seller to protect him/herself against the "due on sale clause" in his/her mortgage. And so on.
Bottom line: Most real estate agents don't know much about lease-options. And, really, a lot of lawyers don't, either. Before working with either, try to probe to make sure that the "professional" really knows the subject.
Hope that helps.