The Realtors who told you that upgrades don't matter may have been overstating the case somewhat.
It's true that above-grade living space is a primary factor in calculating an appraisal. However, condition does count, and a whizz-bang modern kitchen can help a house appraise for somewhat higher than an original 1960s kitchen. Same with baths, etc. Not a whole lot, but some.
As for the specific you site, yes, nice landscaping, a nicely wooded area, all that helps too. Not too much, if you're talking about a strict appraisal, but it helps a bit.
Having said that, the upgrades you mentioned (and that I mentioned) will help a house sell a lot quicker for more money. That's what buyers are looking for. An appraisal is not always an accurate reflection of a home's market value, and it certainly isn't a reflection of the appeal it offers to a buyer.