Absolutely worth it. Never mind recouping any of the money, if it helps sell the house, which what you describe now will NOT do! Kitchens and baths are crucial to buyers. But, if the cabinetry is worn or whatever, you might want to re-finish them, change the hardware to something more modern, etc. Maybe even the sink and faucets. You should probably have a Realtor come to look at it now to give you advice on what you need to do to prepare. Prepare NOW for 18 months away, and you will be able to do a good job, not rushed, and with hopefully good return on the investment. The rest of the house might need some updating as well? A Realtor can tell you how to "stage", what to take out, what to put in, what to paint, how to de-clutter, etc. Crucial and even more so in this market. If you want top dollar, you must have the home in top shape. There is competition out there. I also recommend that you begin going to area/neighborhood open houses in the range of what you feel you might list your home for....see what your competition is, and/or what homes on the market look like at specific price levels. It also can give you some good decorating "tips", looking around at other homes.
Hope that helps.
Tari Torch Sweeney