Are all homeowners listed on the deed/title of a home required to sign all documents for a sale to be final in California?
2 attorney answers
The defining issue depends on certain facts which you have presented in an ambiguous way. Your question asks whether all homeowners listed on the deed are required to sign sale documents. But you don't say who exactly is on the title. Is it both parents and your brother or one parent and your brother or the two parents? Whoever is on title must sign the sale documents unless one of the parties signing, has a power of attorney from the one not signing to sign on his or her behalf. The fact that the buyer and agent never asked for the title means the buyer may have a lawsuit against the agent if this deal does go through. Conversley if the deal does go through, the seller ( your parents?) would have to obtian a title report and that is when the fun begins. With regard to your parents halting the sale, they may be within their right to do so ( may need your brother to sign as well and I can't say without reading the escrow instructions) IF the buyer was still conducting his/her due diligence and or seeking a loan such that all contingencies have not yet been satisfied. But your parents may have to refund any deposit put up by the buyer.
The foregoing does not constitute legal advice and no attorney client relationship has been formed between us. Please understand that other attorneys may have entirely different opinions especially if there are additional facts not disclosed here. Thank you.
Generally: Lots to consider. Attempted sellers to the contract are likely to be found in breach and liable under the RPA. Non-signing owner has his own rights and can assert his own interest to attempt to stop the sale, depending on the circumstances and dynamics of the transaction. Counterargument is sellers did not sign and due diligence was not done so contract was formed on mistake and thus voidable; or for illegality and thus void ab initio. Specific performance is not possible without all owners so an action to enforce would probably fail. Remedy for agent is probably to seek damages under the RPA. There should also be title insurance with escrow having opened which could involve an insurance claim with the title insurance company. Bank on loan for buyer if applicable probably won't accept it if title is insufficient because they can't use it as proper collateral on a mortgage.
Retain counsel in private consultation on all of the specific facts as seemingly minor differences can make a big difference in the case.