One of the things to realize is that it is irrelevant what a seller paid for a property. The market value is what a buyer is willing to pay for it. This being said, every seller has emotional connections with a property, especially one where they have built the home themselves. Any offer you make needs to be supported with evidence of why you are making this offer in light of other homes that are available that are similar. If you are using a local real estate agent they should be able to prepare a list of comparable homes to give you something to work from when preparing your offer. Price is also not always the only deciding factor for a seller, there are many other terms in an offer from financing, to settlement date, inspections etc, sometimes a lower price can be offset by finding out what else is important to the seller in light of these other terms. Good luck.
I can confirm what wetdawgs says, as I have had rental listings appear on craigslist with my photos that are blatant scams. Unfortunately, it is one of the issues with the internet that people can take information and re-use it.
You may also want to do a quick search on google for garages to rent in your zip code and see what comes up.
I would suggest talking with different agents in your area and negotiating with those agents for the best deal. If you don't feel comfortable doing that you won't be comfortable negotiating as an agent owner if you got your license. Also the cost and time involved of obtaining your license is more than you might save on hiring a professional. however as has been said above you can always list as a for sale by owner and pay a broker to put it into the MLS for you, there are many firms that will do this. But even the owner of For Sale By Owner recently hired a realtor to sell his pad in New York recently.
Maybe you can also consider vacation rentals, you may end up getting more for it annually, but it is more hassle and depending on where you are exactly may not be suitable. Otherwise go for the longer term rental suggested.
Give some more information about where you are located, that might help you to find some local investors.
Most agents today don't want to put the time in to helping a buyer who may not qualify, which is why they are asking for a pre-approval, also any listing agent will also want to see a mortgage pre-approval as well. Till you have the pre-approval you may not find an agent willing to take you out who is experienced. None of us like working for nothing and past experience has led most active agents today to take this line.
NAR is the National Association of Realtors, most real estate brokers make their agents join their local association of realtors which is usually part of their state asociation of realtors which is part of the national association. Some Multiple list services insist you be a mmember of the local realtor association or charge you extra to participate. There is a lot of discusssion whether agents would be members if they did not have to be.
Pending is a stage of the offer process. When an agreement is presented and signed by the seller, some MLS's will show the property as pending, others mark it ACT-O or another designation depending on the terms of the offer, this means it is still available to show. However, Pending is often used when the contingencies are removed, or many have been and the property is waiting to move to settlement. Only then does the selling price get revealed, and it may still not show any sellers assist that has been included. Hope this helps. As menitoned by Jim, if you are interested in the properrty, it might be worth checking to see if back up offers are being accepted as in today's market deals can fall apart for many reasons even at the last moment.
Check with your lender, it might vary from lender to lender and what loan program you will use. Sometimes the appraisal can be used, sometimes not.