With nearly 30 years of combined real estate experience, and professional backgrounds in finance and corporate communications, we bring a complementary set of skills and knowledge to every client relationship.  Whether you are a first time buyer, are relocating from afar or are ready to downsize, we have the skills and relationships to make it happen smoothly. Our business has been built 100% on referrals from happy clients. 


Karen Murphy

I have lived and worked in Lamorinda since 1983 and have been a top producing agent at Village since I co-founded the company in 2000. My professional background is in finance. Prior to real estate I practiced as a CPA with Arthur Andersen & Co. I earned my undergraduate degree at Stanford and an MBA from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business. I served two terms as a member of the Orinda Union School District Board of Trustees serving as President; I was on the Board of the Educational Foundation of Orinda, served as co-president of Del Rey and Miramonte Parents' Clubs and I served on the Miramonte Boosters Club board. Needless to say, I'm a big believer in our public schools and the fabulous community around us.

I have ushered buyers and sellers through hundreds of successful transactions. My husband Tim and I raised our two grown sons, Brian and Ben, in this community that is home to amazing schools, great weather and access to all the benefits of Bay Area living. We were involved in just about every parent's club, booster club, baseball league and football team that came our way while the kids were young, and formed many wonderful friendships along the way.

I am proud to have helped establish Village, the market leader in Lamorinda. I currently serve on the board of directors in addition to being a very active agent.


Hillary Murphy

I feel extremely lucky to work in a community that I love. Since joining Karen at Village in 2014 I've helped dozens of clients buy and sell wonderful properties. Prior to real estate, I spent 13 years in various marketing and communications roles for high-profile tech innovators and Fortune 500 companies in San Francisco and New York.

My husband Brian, who is Karen's youngest son, was raised in Orinda attending Del Rey Elementary, OIS and Miramonte High School. When it was time for us to leave San Francisco in 2009, Orinda seemed like a practical place to raise a family. But to be honest, I was reluctant to "trade it in for the burbs." Eventually II fell in love with Orinda’s friendly community, great climate and easy access to the city. Then, some of our best friends followed us here which was wonderful.

10 years later... we have two energetic kids ages 8 and 4, and a fantastic village of friends and neighbors. My experience living in the East Bay with young children is valuable to many clients who move here for our amazing schools. I know that a move involves much more than a house; it's a new network of babysitters and teachers and doctors and pre-schools and activities that must be re-established, and I am happy to help clients make those new connections whenever possible.

I studied Economics at UC Santa Barbara and Oxford University, and I grew up in the heart of Sonoma County's beautiful wine country.

National Association of Realtors: ABR® Designation.

The Market Leader of Lamorinda

Village Associates Real Estate was founded in 2000 and is still the largest independently owned and operated real estate office in Contra Costa County. The firm has transformed the local real estate community and is Lamorinda’s leading local real estate company. Village agents are highly involved in the community and schools and proud of our local heritage. Village Associates operates from a single office in Orinda, with 36 highly experienced, high volume agents and a dedicated staff of four.

Market Leading Performance

Each year since the company was established, Village Associates has out performed all other real estate firms in the Lamorinda area in every key measure of comparison. In fact, nearly one of every four transactions taking place in Lamorinda since the inception of the firm has been facilitated by a Village Associates.

Power in Numbers

We believe our numbers speak for themselves. Our success directly reflects the success we deliver to our clients:

  • Number 1 sales office by dollar volume in Lamorinda

  • Over $482 million in sales in Lamorinda alone (2017)

  • 387 total transactions (2017)

  • 6 of the top 10 Lamorinda agents in dollar volume (10 of the top 20)

  • Average 20% of marketplace in Lamorinda

  • Per agent average sales of over $16.8 million (2017)

  • 12 average transactions per agent per year

  • Average of 23+ years in the industry per agent

  • $587 million gross sales in 2017

  • Average of 23 days on market in Lamorinda

Build Lasting Relationships

Some clients take just days to purchase or sell their homes; others take more time to study the market and make their move. That's alright with us. We view every client relationship as a long term one. Most people we work with are repeat clients who initially came through a word-of-mouth referral, and many are friends long after their move is complete. 

Offer Boutique Service

We prefer to work with just a few clients at a time so that everyone receives excellent personal service and the details are all attended to. If we are too busy, or if we have a conflict of interest, we will be honest about that and refer you on to someone excellent.

Simplify the Selling Process: Maximum Price for Minimal Effort

Selling your home can be an emotional process, and it's a lot of work getting ready to move. We will help you focus on the things that are going to maximize the price you get for your home, while minimizing the workload. We'll connect you with reliable, cost effective service providers and stagers, and can schedule and supervise the work. Then comes smart pricing, stunning photography and marketing, high-visibility open houses and constant communication with the agent network. We will help you select and negotiate the best offer possible and get the sale completed. Because of our deep agent network, we are often able to sell homes "off market" if that is your wish.

A No-Pressure Approach to Buying

We will never try to convince you that a property is right for you. After seeing enough homes, you'll know the perfect fit when you see it. Our job is to help you understand our market and point out the best opportunities, so that when the right house comes up, you're ready to make a winning offer. Then the strategic work begins - we'll guide you through inspections, smart negotiations and right through to closing. We also have access to many listings before they are available to the public. 

Our Reputation Impacts Your Success

In the competitive Bay Area market, it is important to hire a respected local agent that other agents want to be in contract with. We work hard to deliver on our promises, and get transactions across the finish line, and other agents know this. We have deep history in Lamorinda and we are known for doing what we say we are going to do. 

It should go without saying that we value honesty above all. If we don't know something, we aren't afraid to admit it and help you find the answer. If the answer isn't what you want to hear, we'll say it anyway. After all, this relationship is 100% based on trust so we can't run our business any other way. 


We worked with Karen and Hillary on selling our home in Orinda, CA, in early 2018, and I can’t speak highly enough of them both. Their local knowledge is exceptional, and I am convinced that we would not have received the sales price we did without their expertise. They also gave us excellent advice about how to prepare our home (which was almost 70 years old at the time of sale) for listing and guided us through the entire process with ease and with excellent communication and responsiveness. I can’t recommend them highly enough!
— Mason, Orinda seller, 2018
We were so lucky to work with Hillary in the purchase of our first home. Hillary went above and beyond in assisting us with every step of the way. This market wasn’t easy to navigate but with Hillary’s knowledge and expertise, we landed the perfect home for our family and couldn’t be more happy!
— Carlee, Walnut Creek buyer, 2018
Collectively Karen and Hillary could not have been better. They have tremendous knowledge of the area, market values, marketing of the property and they are just genuinely nice people. In very short order the property was marketed and we had seven offers, all above asking price. As this was my mother’s property I wanted a certain buyer who was appreciative of the situation and the property. We found the nicest buyer imaginable as was her agent, also from the same office. I was an absolutely stunned by how good this process was and give the highest recommendation to Karen and Hillary.
— Greg, Orinda seller, 2018
Karen & Hillary are the only realtors you want if you’re thinking of buying or selling your house in Lamorinda. They know the area intimately which is a big help. They managed to sell our house in record time - a week (!).
— Victoria, Lafayette seller, 2018
Hillary did such a fantastic job of helping us find our first home. We were looking for a 5-bed, 3 bath outside San Francisco in the east bay and found our dream home in 2 months. She was extremely knowledgeable, informative and professional. Exactly the realtor and experience we were looking for. Will 100% recommend Hillary to a new home buyer in the east bay.
— Sonia, Walnut Creek buyer, 2018
We have worked with Karen for nearly 20 years buying and selling houses in Lamorinda. We just recently started working with Hilary when we sold our home in the Moraga Country Club. Karen’s deep knowledge of the Lamorinda housing market and Hilary’s marketing expertise make them a powerful team. I would highly recommend them for anyone buying of selling a home in LaMorinda.
— Diane, Moraga seller, 2016
Hillary went above and beyond our expectations in the time we worked with her to find and purchase our home. She is a true professional and it is obvious that she cares about her clients above all else. She took the time to show us around every neighborhood when we first began our search, and she kept on top of every new listing that fit our needs, previewing houses for us as we weren’t in the area. Her approach is very straightforward, thoughtful and honest, and it very apparent how knowledgeable she is about the area and the market. Hillary diligently pursued finding the right home for us and in the end she used her close relationships with big agents in the area to find us the perfect home through an off market opportunity. We would not be in the home we are today without her dedication and skills, and there is no other realtor we would recommend more. She has even kept in contact with us since moving into our home to provide us with tips and contacts in the area to make our transition smooth. Although we didn’t get a chance to work with Karen, I know they have a great reputation as a top team in the area, and we are so grateful that we got referred their way. Thank you Hillary—you are the BEST!
— Shelly, Lafayette buyer, 2017
Cannot say enough good things about Team Murphy! I’m happy that we chose to work with Karen and Hillary. They helped us get a great house at a very good price, and just as importantly settle in to a new area. And they made this big transition such smooth sailing for us. We moved from South Bay and we had to sell our place there, move to Lamorinda, and find a short term rental to live in while we are looking for a place to buy. We also had to re-establish our support network from scratch - pediatrician for our 2 kids, pre-school, doctors, dentists, dance classes, nannies and many many more details we take for granted. Well, Hillary and Karen took care of all of it for us. They helped us get a rental and provided countless referrals for pretty much anything that we needed. Hillary is very responsive, always only a text message or a phone call away. I am happy to be a reference and talk with anyone who is considering working with Team Murphy.
— Anna, Moraga buyer, 2017
We chose Karen and Hillary after interviewing several agents. We are so glad of our choice. Karen and Hillary are very knowledgeable, responsive, made our selling and buying experience really enjoyable. We will choose them again without hesitate if we go into market again.
— Chengyu, Moraga seller, 2016
Working with Karen Murphy was an exceptional experience - I would highly recommend Karen! As new homeowners purchasing our first home and moving outside of the city, I can’t think of a better person to be your partner. She really listened to our needs and was able to identify the best location and home for our family, incorporating our long list of must-have’s such as proximity to BART, great schools, friendly and fun neighborhood, layout, etc. Her history in and extensive knowledge of the market in combination with her expertise really allow her to be incredibly effective. We truly enjoyed our experience working with Karen and trusted her completely throughout the entire process. We credit Karen with finding and securing the perfect home for our family and we are so happy!
— Kathleen, Lafayette buyer 2013