If you were looking to sell a house in the country, the chances are someone would recommend Sweeting. Knight Frank’s country department head has been living and breathing the countryside for his entire adult life, having joined 29 years ago after graduating in rural land management from the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester.
In 2015 his department handled £889 million of country sales, 30 per cent of which occurred off-market. Sweeting says the deals of more than £6 million have come in at closer to 70-75 per cent off-market. ‘At the top end very few houses are being advertised now,’ he says. ‘There has been a market, but at the top end it’s mostly been off-market.’ It’s a niche Sweeting is known for.
British buyers have staged a market comeback this year — as have the Russians, he says, especially around the M25 ring and north Surrey, where they have traditionally found comfort around London and its airports. ‘They rarely go much beyond that,’ he says.
Clients and peers cite his endless patience and sensitivity on tricky sales, vouching that if he’s selling for you ‘no one will work harder’, but if you’re buying from him he’ll always drive a hard bargain. Industry experts echo that praise: ‘Rupert is one of the best-connected agents in the industry,’ says one. ‘A true countryman renowned for his unwavering integrity.’