St. Clair County homeowners are suing their realtor and a local real estate company for allegedly turning away a prospective buyer.

David and Tia Mahalik filed the lawsuit against Doug Peters and Strano Commercial Group.

According to the complaint filed Nov. 29 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, the Mahaliks signed a Multiple Listing Service agreement with Peters and Strano Commercial Group in March 2009. The contract was for the listing and selling of property in St. Clair County.

The Mahaliks claim between March and September 2009 an interested buyer told Peters several times that he wanted to make an offer on the property less than the asking price.

Peters allegedly told the prospective buyer that the Mahaliks were unwilling to negotiate from the listed price of $299,000. The couple says the agent never told them of the interest in the property or asked if they were willing to negotiate a lower price. They allege he concealed this information on purpose to increase his potential commission on the sale of the property.

The Mahaliks say their property went unsold and, therefore, entered into foreclosure. They say it ultimately sold for a price lower than what the interested buyer had said he was willing to pay.

The couple accuses the defendants of breach of contract, fraudulent concealment and for violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act. The Mahaliks are asking for more than $400,000 in damages.

Attorneys Ted Dennis and Carson Menges, of Belleville, are representing the Mahaliks.

St. Clair Count Circuit Court case no. 10-L-621

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