Recent Spanish legislation makes it compulsory for anyone selling or buying property in Spain to have a NIE - Numero de Identidad de Extranjeros which, translated, means "Identity Number for Foreigners". People applying for a NIE get just a piece of paper with your name and number and a official stamp so, but without it you will be unable to open a bank account, apply for a mortgage, nor to buy or sell a property.
Until recently, foreign non-residents in Spain could buy or sell property without a NIE. Then, once it became necessary to have one, their legal representative could get one for them if appointed by a POA to apply for it.
How do I get a NIE?
It is usually being a slow process taking a long time and lots of queues to be done.But lawyers can manage to get it on an average time of 1 weeks provided all information is into place from your end and all requirements to have the NIE's released from the Spanish administration
Anyone seeking to buy or sell property in Spain would be well advised to consider to get a NIE number as a priority and one of the firsts paperwork to be done related to a home purchase.