Beeny was born in Reading, Berkshire, to Richard and Ann. Beeny has an elder brother, Diccon. The daughter of an architect for Bovis Homes, her mother loved the self-sustained outdoor life. The family lived in two converted brick cottages in a nine-acre plot on the edge of the Duke of Wellington's estate Stratfield Saye, in a style that Beeny describes as "a bit like The Good Life." The family kept goats, chickens and ducks, while her father made dolls house furniture to raise extra cash. Beeny has described her family in this period as "...crafty-entrepreneurial but more craft than entrepreneurial."
After her mother died aged 39 of breast cancer when Beeny was 10, she was educated as a weekly boarder at the all-girls Luckley-Oakfield School in Wokingham. Although her friends went to university, Beeny did not and was encouraged to study drama by her English teacher, taking a leading role in Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle. Pursuing the idea of becoming a professional actress, she studied drama at Queen Mary's College, Basingstoke, but failed to get into a drama school.
Advised by her father and stepmother Trisha to get out and see the world, Beeny travelled around the world solo at the age of 17 and felt "lonely and seasick" most of the way round. She returned to the UK to take a series of jobs, including: working for Save the Children; window cleaning; door-to-door vacuum cleaner selling and running her own sandwich making business. Assuming she would be self-employed for the rest of her life, at weekends, she would study the property market, which gave her a good grounding in the market. Having saved up a deposit, without any formal training, Beeny began her own property developing business with her brother and her husband. Beeny is also the co-founder of the popular UK dating website Mysinglefriend,
Beeny met her husband and business partner, Graham Swift, when she was 18 years old. Her brother is married to Swift's sister, Caroline. Beeny and Swift have four sons. They have homes in Streatham, London and at Rise Hall, in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
After meeting the sister-in-law of Sarah Delafield-Cook, a talent hunter at Talkback Thames at a hen party, she was asked to undertake a screen test to front a new programme series about property development, which was to be fronted by a property expert. Taking the advice of her stepmother and never turning down an opportunity, the successful format Property Ladder has led to various spin-off series, including Streets Ahead, Britain's Best Homes and Property Snakes and Ladders.
In 2006, Sarah presented another Channel 4 programme One Year to Pay Off Your Mortgage. She has written a number of books to accompany the series, as well as a weekly column for the Mail on Sunday.
In August 2007, Sarah starred in a promotional trailer for Channel 4 which was made in the form of a parody of a Kung Fu movie. The classic line "You dare to challenge the might of the Beeny", was said by Beeny to the evil nemesis. Later that year, she also appeared on the Channel 5 motoring show, Fifth Gear, where she raced Jason Plato in an articulated lorry around a course. Beeny has appeared on Gordon Ramsay's The F-Word, as she offered up her garden for Gordon's sheep to feed on.
She regularly appears on television and is a friend of DJ Christian O' Connell. She has also appeared on Bob the Builder alongside Dermot O'Leary, on which she estimated the value of Bob the Builder's house to be "Two Bob".
Since August 2010, she has fronted the Channel 4 programme Help! My House is Falling Down, which had the working title of House Rescue before its commission.
In November 2010, she presented Beeny's Restoration Nightmare on Channel Four, showing her renovation of Rise Hall, a Grade II* listed historic house near Rise, East Riding of Yorkshire, to create a wedding venue.
In August 2011, Beeny began presenting a new series for BBC One titled Village SOS. In this series the programme follows a group of passionate villagers who want to restore their village to its former glory.
Beeny owns the online estate agent, Tepilo.
In August 2014, Beeny was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian expressing their hope that Scotland would vote to remain part of the United Kingdom in September's referendum on that issue.Property Ladder: How to Make Pounds from Property
Property Ladder: Profit from Property
Property Ladder: The Developer's Bible
Property Ladder: Hints and Tips
Sarah Beeny's Price the Job
A Date with Sarah Beeny: Mysinglefriend.com's Guide to Dating and Dumping, Flirting and Flings – 2007
Property Ladder: Sarah Beeny's Design for Profit