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