When selling a home, in terms of first impressions, let's face it.... that purple wall, that cluttered living room, the hideous wall paper in the dining room (none of which are not a problem for your seller …they love their house!) can make the selling of an otherwise wonderful home a bit like climbing Mt. Everest. These anomalies can create a great deal of angst with potential buyers and potentially turn them off, particularly in a highly competitive market. After a number of years listing homes, I find it's not hard to pick out the obvious "deficiencies" in this regard.
The challenge is in how the input gets defined and communicated. You don't want to offend your client...but you have a responsibility to get top dollar for their home. My solution in some cases is to have my Interior Design business partner provide a home staging consultation where the issues are highlighted but also solutions are provided. She is amazing at color choices and elegant simplification. Depending on the circumstances, I'll pay for the consultation as part of my listing service. That way I don't have to deliver the bad news about the purple wall having to go...and the results really help potential buyers "feel" at home. Everyone is happy...! This is a key service any listing agent can provide and it works for all types of listings. My Design partner often gets a call from my sellers once they purchase their new home for some serious design work...!