Until a deed is recorded, it is just a piece of paper. In fact, any piece of paper, even a napkin, can be used as a deed (to transfer title on real property) as long as they correct wording is used and the document is recorded in the county in which the property is situated. So, if the deed was never recorded then it is just another piece of paper that went missing.
Now, to your question of "selling" the property. A quit claim deed is not the document traditionally used in a "sale" of property. That would be a grant deed, which grants or conveys the property to the new owners with the usual warranties including that the property was not previously conveyed to another party and that the property is not pledged as collateral to a note. A quit claim deed simply states that the person quits or gives up his interest in the property. There are no warraties. In fact, a person with no title at all to the property can execute a quit claim deed. So, if your parents "sold" the property to your aunt and uncle, I believe a grant deed would have been the more appropriate document.
This is the point at which you should contact an attorney. I am not an attorney and therefore am not giving leagal advice. However, you might want to get some wording to be used on the new deed to clarify its intent. I don't know if it is necessary for special wording, but it might clear things up at a later date if the prior deed is found. The wording could be something as simple as "this deed superceeds the quit claim deed executed in 20XX, which has not been previously recorded." You should ask an attorney if this is apprpriate before proceeding to do this.
Hope this helps clarify the issue for you. Good luck and Dare to Dream.
Shel-lee Davis, QSCÂ®
Certified Distressed Property Expert â€“ CDPEÂ®
Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource â€“ SFRÂ®
Certified HAFA Specialist â€“ CHSÂ®
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RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty