I do agree that it is unlikely that improvements will come back dollar for dollar. But the improved home may sell, while the unimproved may not. So I say, make those improvements if you can.
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Today's buyers seem to gravitate to those properties that have upgraded kitchens,baths & floors... Mostly because they don't want to spend the $$ to do it themselves, and often EXPECT these to be present in a home they buy, but do give it some weight when making an offer because they know the cost of doing it themselves.
As far as how long ago they were done, if the upgrades were done well, and are not "dated" looking, or in some custom color ( I have seen a very expensive kitchen remodel with kelly green countertops), it will help a bit towards sales price too.
Buyers today look for very recent upgrades and improvements, and will often dismiss updates that are a few years ago. Buyers will cite the need for a new round of updates needed.