Okay, so I spoke too soon.
Curt received his NIE in the mail in three days. I checked my mail faithfully every day only to find nothing.
At this point I was really stressed because you can’t just buy property without an NIE. Lucas tried to tell me not to worry, that we could drive an hour to Almeria foreigner’s office the morning of the completion, get the NIE, then drive to Vera to sign the papers, and everything would be juuuust fine. I know the Spanish have a “eh, it’ll be fine!” attitude about things, but this was really going to be cutting things close!
There was nothing I could do but roll with it, so I planned to do the last minute checking of the mail before departing for the airport, and if we had to go with Plan B, so be it.
Our estate agent arranged a room reservation for us at the Hostal Meson in Arboleas, and if the closing was delayed we at least would be able to stay there extra days if we had to. We were keeping fingers and toes crossed that this wasn’t going to be the case.