Odds are fine. (Why wouldn't they be?)
And they can be a win-win situation for both parties.
Just to quickly address two lease-option objections below:
OBJECTION: From the buying standpoint, we are in a declining market, so why get locked into a price, when the place will be worth less next year.
Because it offers you far more protection if the market continues to decline than if you bought. At the end of your lease, you can just walk away. No harm done. Instead, if you bought today and the market declined, you could be seriously under water. (And if an agent is absolutely convinced that the market is going to decline over the next few years, how ethical is it to continue selling properties? In that case, the agent should be advising all customers and clients to rent.)
And from the selling standpoint, why take the property off the market, when the person most likely wont purchase the place after its done. Almost all rent to owns are in some form a scam in the sense that they dont work.
ANSWER: Many do work. It's estimated that perhaps 50%-60% end up in purchases. And just because something doesn't work out doesn't mean it's a scam. True story: A long time ago, I invested a few thousand dollars in a Broadway play. (Written by Edward Albee.) The play closed after a few weeks and I lost every penny. Was that a scam? No way. It wasn't a good investment, but certainly no scam. As to why seller would take a property off the market, presumably the property's been listed for quite a while with no interested buyers. The seller wants to move on. In addition, perhaps the property is sitting there vacant. The owner is far better off getting a tenant-buyer in there who'll make rent payments, and possibly buy the property, than leaving it sit empty for months or years.
Here's a blog I wrote on how to find them: http://bit.ly/findaleaseoption
Hope that helps.