Combined we have nearly 30 years of real estate experience. With professional backgrounds in finance (Karen) and corporate communications (Hillary), we bring a complementary set of skills and knowledge to every client and transaction.  Whether you are a first time buyer, are relocating, moving up or downsizing, buying an investment property or a family estate, we have the skills and relationships to make it happen smoothly.


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 communities of Lamorinda.

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 create and build Village Associates into the premier independent brokerage in the East Bay. 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 Village in 2014 I've helped dozens of clients buy and sell a wide range of 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 was raised in Orinda graduating from Miramonte High School. When it was time for us to buy a home in 2009, Orinda seemed like a practical place to raise a family but I was reluctant to leave San Francisco. I quickly fell in love with Orinda’s friendly community, warmer climate and easy access to the city.

10 years later... we have two energetic kids ages 8 and 4, and a fantastic village of friends. 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 activities, babysitters and teachers and doctors and pre-schools that must be re-established, and I also love helping clients make those connections in addition to finding their next home.

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

National Association of Realtors: ABR® Designation.

Village Associates was founded in 2000 and is still the largest independently owned and operated real estate office in Contra Costa County. Our firm has transformed the local real estate scene and is Lamorinda’s leading independent brokerage. Village Associates serves clients - not a corporation, investors, or quarterly earnings pressures. Our independence allows us to act solely with our clients needs in mind, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Village agents are highly involved in our schools and community and we are proud of our local heritage. Village Associates operates from a single office in Orinda, with 30 highly experienced, high volume agents and a dedicated staff of four.

Market Leading Performance

Since the company was established, Village Associates has regularly out performed 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

Our numbers speak for themselves:

  • Over $560 million in sales (2018)

  • 378 total transactions (2018)

  • 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

  • Average of 23 days on market in Lamorinda (2017)

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 buttoned up. If we have a conflict of interest, we will be honest about that and refer you to someone excellent.

Simplify the Selling Process: Maximum Price for Minimal Effort

Selling your home can be emotional, 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 through closing. 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 the 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 all elements of 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 agent that other agents want to be in contract with. We are known for delivering on our promises and completing transactions. We have deep history in Lamorinda and work hard to build and maintain good relationships other agents.

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 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
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
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
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
While my wife and I knew we eventually wanted to move to the Lamorinda area from the city, we weren’t exactly sure when that would happen. The Murphy team did an excellent job of helping us keep an eye on the market well in advance of the eventual purchase of our dream home. We primarily worked with Hillary, who was our always available, never pressuring, go-to resource for all of our random questions/thoughts/inexperience, providing us with extremely useful insights and honest feedback.

When a house came to market that Hillary thought was just right for us, she made us aware of the open house schedule and Karen was able help us with a private showing that confirmed this was indeed the house for us! The Murphy team made sure we were well prepared to make a strong offer with just the right terms that were accepted by the seller (over comparable offers!). Hillary & Karen then continued to walk us through the entire inspection and escrow process to make sure we felt comfortable with all aspects of the sale. We are so grateful for their knowledge and expertise in making our first home buying experience a smooth, successful process!

Separately, the Murphy team recently did an appraisal of my mom’s house in the area and were extremely professional as well as understanding of the unique character of the home. Most importantly, my mom felt comfortable throughout the process and enjoyed their interactions. While she has no plans to sell at the moment, she’ll no doubt use their services when the time comes.
— Brandon, Orinda buyer, 2017
When the stakes are high, you want to have Karen in your corner. She was invaluable in helping my husband and I purchase our home in Orinda, and has since successfully brokered the purchases of two of our friends’ homes in Lafayette and Moraga, both of which were intense competitive bid situations. Not only is she a savvy businesswoman, she’s an incredibly kind and empathetic person who somehow manages to make even the most stressful real estate situations feel calm and in control. I really can’t recommend her highly enough!
— Gwen, Orinda buyer, 2010
Karen and her associate Hillary have shown us what true professionalism means in the real estate business. My wife and I first got to know Hillary in an open house in Orinda. Karen then took us on a second tour for a closer look. They were not pushy but tried to understand what we want in our home search. Karen is a long time residence of Orinda so her advice regarding life in the neighborhood was valuable to us. She offered her insights from transportation to afterschool programs. She understands that buying a home is not just a business transaction, it is a beginning of a life in a new environment. To that end, Karen and Hillary helped us relieve much of the anxiety and stress. The result: we got a beautiful townhome we really enjoy.
— Stanley, Orinda buyer, 2015
We used Karen’s services to list and sell our family home, after my Mother passed away in early 2015. Nine years ago Karen had helped us appraise the home for estate purposes after my Father died. In a word, Karen’s services were incomparable. We asked her to coordinate everything: estate sale, clean-out, repairs, staging, listing, tours, open houses, sale negotiations, and closing. Karen’s sales strategy helped us realize more than the asking price when the home sold. Finally, Karen realized that my brother and I had more than a few memories bound up in the sale of our family home. She was sensitive to that dynamic as well. Bottom line, we couldn’t have asked for a better sales experience with Karen leading the way.
— Bob, Orinda seller, 2015
Karen was referred to us by a close friend, and we feel so blessed that the connection was made! Karen helped us understand the Lamorinda market and helped us hone our search based on our family’s specific needs. She did not waste our time looking at houses that did not fit our criteria and she was always available to meet us when a “good one” popped up on the market. As both my husband and I work, I really appreciated that Karen would preview houses for us before the weekend open houses and advise us which ones were worthy of a look. Karen is thoughtful, hardworking, kind, and compassionate. I would not hesitate to recommend her to any of my friends seeking to make a similar move “through the tunnel.”
— Jennifer, Moraga buyer, 2015
We recently bought our home in Lafayette with Karen and highly recommend her. Karen is a total pro who has an incredible amount of Lamorinda experience and knowledge. She combines a steady hand with solid and realistic advice, two traits that are definitely vital in today’s real estate market!
— KC, Lafayette buyer, 2015
One of the best and most unique parts of working with Karen was her total and complete honesty. Instead of pressuring us to buy a house, any house, she was honest. She knew what we were looking for and was candid in telling us whether or not the house was a good fit. She was discerning and shared her true opinion instead of just trying to get us to make an offer. She was more interested in having us buy a house that was right for us than just getting us to sign on the dotted line.
— Erin, Orinda buyer, 2011
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
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
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
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
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
Karen and Hillary helped us buy a condo — and they were fantastic. The condo was for my parents, who were living out of state, and had very specific requirements, which, unfortunately, changed a little bit over time. Nevertheless, Karen and Hillary were both extremely patient and responsive. They traveled with us to look at numerous potential homes, and were always armed with a helpful set of comps to give us a sense of how each property compared to the rest of the market. We peppered them with phone calls, emails, and text messages (sometimes from 3-4 different people) and Karen or Hillary always responded quickly and helpfully. Their advice was invaluable in informing our bid — afterward we felt, in a competitive market, that we paid just enough to win, but without overpaying. They also helped streamline all of the purchase paperwork, and provided helpful guidance at every point along the way. And after the sale was done, they have followed up to make sure the HOA took care of repairs that were their responsibility and helped us find contractors for repair work. They truly went above and beyond and were a pleasure to work with!
— Ajay, San Ramon buyer, 2016
Purchasing our house in Lafayette has been quite an adventure and we were very fortunate to have Karen as our realtor. Karen has the top 3 qualities we were looking for:
1) Listening - Although it seems cliche Karen was always very attentive to our preferences and evolving considerations, not over reaching or pushing to make a quick and bad deal. It made a very productive engagement that helped us a lot to nail down our choice.
2) Knowledge - With her 20+ years of experience in Lafayette we were always impressed by her knowledge of the area. Karen could provide the background for each house we were visiting and delivered invaluable advice on the quality of the house and/or area as well as service providers in the area.
3) Patience - Lafayette is in high demand and in particular downtown where we were looking. Karen always demonstrated calm and faith in finding the right home for us.
Working with Karen has been a delightful experience including a lot of fun even-though house hunting in this area is very stressful.
— Tara, Lafayette buyer, 2013
I have had the pleasure of working with Karen for 17+ years (since 1998).
Karen has assisted me in purchasing three homes and selling one. She has brought a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and experience to all the activities that she has managed for me. Karen is a highly effective agent that benefits from a great level of respect from her colleagues. She is well connected, highly masterful in real estate business transactions, and enjoys an excellent ability to manage hectic situations (as they are common in any real estate interactions). Karen is a go-to-source for me anytime I think about real estate transactions and I genuinely enjoy my personal interactions with her. I truly trust Karen and her recommendations and that by itself worth more than anything else to me. Many thanks to Karen and her excellent team in particular Hillary:)—I am looking forward to working with Karen and her team for many more years to come.
— Mohammad, Moraga seller and buyer, 2015
Karen is everything you could ask for in a real estate agent. She is incredibly hard working and responsive; her knowledge of Lamorinda neighborhoods, school districts, and market trends is second to none; and she always has her clients’ best interests in mind. Karen helped us with the purchase of our home and was with us every step of the way throughout our home search. She answered every call or email no matter what time of day or night it was. Karen worked tirelessly to ensure that we received listings as early as possible, and she went out of her way to find us the perfect house, not simply the first house that came on the market that fit our wish list. I would highly recommend Karen to future buyers and sellers in the area without any reservation.
— Randy, Moraga buyer, 2014
Karen’s strong business background made her an incredibly valuable person to have on our team for the escrow process. She is not just a real estate agent but a savvy businesswoman who understands all of the moving parts that go into a successful real estate deal. From credits to discounts to title complications, she can seamlessly handle all aspects of the negotiations. We trusted her business skills completely and never felt the need to double check or micromanage the nuances of the deal.
— Eryk, Orinda buyer, 2011