It depends on how much you want to be involved and whether or not you have any experience with this kind of transaction. A property management company may be best if you want to be "hands off". Property management can be a little expensive but is worth it if the tenant is difficult.
I am a property manager here in Palo Alto with Dalton Realty (DRE 00289754). We have been managing property in Palo Alto since 1968 and I have been doing so for 30 years. I would be happy to speak with you about our services and answer any questions you might have. Please feel free to contact me at any time at 650-303-7425...Rick Dodson (DRE00933204)
Tenants seldom match your schedule. If you have flexibility to leave work to respond to requests it may be easy for you to do it yourself. If you are lucky with your choice of tenants you may not have many requests. The disadvantage of tenants who do not call you is that they may make changes to your house themselves.
If you are willing/wanting to be a property manager and have the time, you can do it yourself. For most working people I would recommend that you have a good property manager.
The choice is basically is your time worth more than the cost of a property manager? A great tenant may be very easy to take care of. Many good people expect the rent they pay to take care of almost any problem quickly.
Top 3 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty
Over 20 years experience
Over 1,000 homes sold in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties
The answer depends on how much you want to be involved.
1. If you hire a property management company it will cost you 10% of a years lease plus any expenses they have to find the tenant. After that they will handle collecting rents, arranging repairs, and paying the property taxes.
2. If you hire a real estate agent they will probably charge 6% and find the tenant for you. they will make sure the credit and references are check, the lease is fully executed, and all mandated disclosures have been given to the tenant and signed. They will collect the deposit and the first months rent for you.
However, once the tenant is in place their job ends. You need to collect the monthly rent and deal with any needed repairs.
3. If you find the tenant yourself you will have to do everything yourself.
So if you feel comfortable that you can do all of the above without breaking any laws, and you have the time to do it, then do it yourself. If you are not comfortable about all the the required forms, disclosures, credit checks, reference gathering, fair housing laws, etc. then hire someone else to do it for you.
Keller Williams Realty Palo Alto
If I may be of help drop me a note.