Most options traders sell their call options early instead of exercising them, as you would make a bigger profit this way due to being able to salvage some remaining extrinsic value.
You bought one contract of $\$10$ strike price call options on $XYZ$ stock for $\$1.00$ when $XYZ$ was trading at $\$10$. Assuming $XYZ$ rises to $\$12$ prior to expiration of the $\$10$ strike price call options and the call options are now worth $\$2.10$.
Scenario 1: Exercise the Call Options
By exercising the call options, the call options cease to exist and you bought $XYZ$ stock at $\$10$. You can now sell those $XYZ$ stocks immediately for its market price of $\$12$ to make a gain of $\$2 - \$1.00$ (price you paid the call options for) = $\$1.00$.
Scenario 2: Selling the Call Options
You simply sell your call options at its market price of $\$2.10$ and make a profit of $\$1.10$. As you can see above, selling the call options allows you to salvage that remaining $\$0.10$ of extrinsic value while exercising the call options won't.
I have one follow up question based on this scenario:
By selling (writing) the call before expiration and salvaging the remaining $\$0.10$ of extrinsic value, would you not be exposing yourself to risk?
Imagine if the underlying stock were to continue to rise above $\$12$ prior to expiration of the $\$10$ strike price. Then you (as the call writer) would be obligated to sell the underlying at $\$10$ if the buyer of the call were to exercise the option. If the underlying has now risen to $\$14$ prior to expiration then you would be loosing $\$14-\$10=\$4$ upon the buyer exercising.
This seems to be a reason that you may desire to exercise early and take a guaranteed profit rather than expose yourself to risk if the stock continues to rise before expiration. What would be the best way to mitigate this risk?
Let me know if my logic is flawed on this conclusion.