Q: I’m in the middle of buying a house that is a bank-owned foreclosure. It seems like every step of this escrow has been problematic, and I’m wondering if this is a sign that I should not buy this house. For example, we were supposed to close escrow in 30 days, but it’s been more than 45 days since the listing agent told us that our offer was being accepted, and I’m just now signing documents. Now they’re saying the bank still could take weeks to sign their documents. Is this normal?

A: All across America, Realtors are hearing a low, anguished drone — like a really loud, really bad case of tinnitus. That sound is the wailing and gnashing of teeth of untold numbers of innocent home buyers in escrow, those brave (but smart) souls who have gotten past their "buyer’s block" and decided to take advantage of this buyer’s market. What is causing all this toil and trouble?

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