Tom, For the buyer having a short escrow period will entice a seller to accept your offer as they know that if the deal falls apart for any reason that their property will be tied up for a shorter period of time. As a buyer a short escrow period means that you will have less time to complete inspections, get loan approval, and remove all contingencies.
A short escrow period moves fast so it is important to have your agent draft a time line for the escrow period so that you know when inspections will take place, when contingencies will be removed, and when the escrow will close. "Failure to plan is planning to fail" This way you and your agent will be able to stay on top of the escrow process and be successful in the end.
A longer escrow period will allow you to think and process situations as they arise. You may have a home or pest inspection that shows some minor but expensive structural damage. With a longer escrow period you will be able to contact various contractors and get estimates on actual costs to cure issues. This will also give you more time to negotiate with the seller or consider walking away from the deal if it no longer makes sense financially.
I would love to discuss this matter further with you if you have any questions, so feel free to contact me.
Best regards, Dave