Shaikh Ibn ul-‘Uthaymeen rahimahullah:
“The Scholars have differed: does seeking counsel precede or Istikhaarah? What is correct is that Istikharah comes first. Istikharah precedes due to the statement of the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam:
إذا هم أحدكم بالأمر فليصل ركعتين
“When one of you contemplates entering upon an enterprise, let him perform two Rak’ah of optional prayer…”
[Sharh Riyaad us-Saliheen (1/792)]
This is also the fatwa of Shaikh Yahya al-Hajoori hafidhuhallah:
Which precedes: Istikharah or Istishaarah?
Whichever he precedes with, then there is no harm. However, what is more deserving is to precede the Istikharah.
Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan