Yes, this is the way it is here, and has been for at least the 25 years I've been working here. It was also the same way in Hawaii, where I worked previously.
A good listing agent works to market the property. They should work with the seller to get the home showing well, priced right, and then market it effectively to agents and buyers. They should also follow up on all showings, be available for answering questions and then negotiate on all offers and follow up through the inspection and closing process.
Most home buyers want to work with one agent whom they know and trust. As they view homes together, they discuss the pros, cons and possibilities of each. A seller can request that their agent be present at all showings, but that will usually inhibits this free flow of comment, just as when the seller himself is present. In this situation, most smart listing agents briefly introduce themselves, point out a few positve features that may not be self-evident and then make themselves scarce. The vast majority of buyers buy on emotion, hopefully guided by logic, so it is important to let the buyer "try on" the house, like trying on a coat, to see if it feels comfortable and good to them. Anything or anyone that interferes with that process will likely do a better un-selling job than make the sale.
If do understand your concern about whether or not the buyer's agent has the necessary knowledge to represent your home well to buyers, as experience varies greatly in this business. There are a couple ways to help improve matters in that situation, since of course, you can't pick the buyer's agent for them!
A Home Book, as described by one agent herein, is a good tool, as are the little cd's, but the most important tool, without doubt, is a carefully detailed MLS entry, with excellent and honest descriptors and photos. Beyond that, for higher end homes, a fully fledged individual web site containing pertinant links to the local neighborhood and school, city and recreational amenties may be very beneficial.
You can also request, when an agent calls for an appointment, or through the agent-only remarks in the MLS, that the buyer's agent call and talk with your agent prior to showing your home, if you seriously feel that certain amenities in your home are likely to be overlooked. I would recommend this strategy over having your agent present, unless there are also security issues that would require making sure the home is carefully locked and alarms reset, and you would like to have your agent do that for you.
I hope this helps. I would not be concerned about this selling practice as it has worked here very effectively for years. Right now, our market is in a transitional stage, after the staggering inflation of the last few years. I believe it is unfortunate that the Fed did not step in to curb the wild housing appreciation going on here and in so much of the country in '04-06, but honestly, 20% per year appreciation is not the norm here! We are now giving back some paper equity if we've owned our homes for several years, but the situation is dire indeed for people who bought at the peak of the market and do not have the opportunity to ride the market back out again. Appreciation will return to our market, just as it has to the stock market after it's dips and dives. As excess inventory is absorbed, I would expect to see a return to our more normal 3-5% per year appreciation. We are not San Francisco, San Diego or even Seattle and I don't think we'll see double digit yearly inflation returning just any day now.
Best wishes, Shannon