In terms of location, have you thought about Renton and South King County? Or even stay in Olympia during this transition time?
In terms of finding a legit agent, I can certainly appreciate what you shared about shady characters. My farming area is in North Seattle. If you are to look for rental or something cheap to buy in south King County, I would not have recommendation for you. But you can always Google agents to find out more about them and use Zillow and Trulia to see what their past client said about them. I would say reviews are good indications. Good luck!! If you are looking in Olympia, I would have recommendation for you. Let me know if you do.
Century 21 North Homes Realty, Inc.