There are several factors to consider here. Some of the most important are:
1) Your location. If you live far from your property, the expense of management may outweigh the cost of travel and your own time.
2) Your availability. If you work full time or have other engagements, you may not have time for your rental.
3) Your income vs. expense. Can you afford management? Your property should bring enough income to cover costs as well as management fees.
4) Your experience. How do you handle complaints, maintenance issues, collecting money? Inexperience may cost you more than management. Considering these 4 factors should help answer your question.
For both your peace of mind and to ensure you are properly protecting your assets, it is important to have someone monitoring your property when away. The first step is to make a call to your insurance company to ensure you understand their requirements. Many insurance companies have different guidelines and will require monitoring at different intervals, usually more frequently during the winter months. A trusted friend or family can help with this but you may want to consider professional help to ensure nothing is missed and the interval between visits is maintained. They will also be trained how to respond to emergency situations such as a burst pipe and should be able to provide additional services you will require during an extended absence such as snow removal, lawn care and yard maintenance, cleaning, etc.
If your property is a multi-unit, it is best to have it full of tenants and receiving maximum rent when selling. Given the buyer will be purchasing it as an income property, the value is largely determined by the rental income.
If you have a single family home or duplex, the buyer may intend to move in to the house. In this case it is important to consider your existing tenants and their needs. The buyer will still be obligated to honour the terms of their lease.
If you are aware you will be selling within the next year, you may want to consider month-to-month leases. This will give you the flexibility to end a lease agreement with 30 days’ notice to the tenant, should your buyer want to move in immediately upon close.