TODAY

TODAY   |  March 21, 2014

Pistorius home on market as his legal bills pile up

Athlete Oscar Pistorius is selling his home to cover the costs of his murder trial. It’s the same house where he killed his late girlfriend. NBC national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen reports.

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>>> now to new developments tied to the murder trial of oscar pistorius . the case now costing the olympic sprinter so much, he needs to sell his home. jeff rossen in pretoria.

>> reporter: before the shooting, oscar pistorius made millions and live add life of luxury inside this gated complex behind me. but now with the trial dragging on, his legal bills are skyrocketing. look at this morning's newspaper, oscar is broke. he's selling his house and trying to unload it within weeks.

>> oscar pistorius now says he needs cash quick. in a surprising new statement, announcing he'll urgently dispose his single biggest asset. his home, the very home where he shot and killed reeva steenkamp. oscar says it was an accident. he'll use the money to pay his high-priced lawyer.

>> reportedly costing $5,000 a day.

>> so this is a man who we know before the shooting was looking at cars like aston martins, he had an order in. he had a racehorse which he had to sell last year just to cover his legal costs .

>> and now the house.

>> and now the house.

>> reporter: and pistorius ' home is lavish, from oversized sofas to the fancy dining room . and it's huge, too. 8,000 square feet . inside, four bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. a veranda, lounge, tv rooms, jaquzzi room. not to mention a three-car garage and this gorgeous pool.

>> cheers.

>> cheers.

>> bottoms up.

>> before the shooting, nbc's mary carillo spent time with pistorius inside his kitchen, here making a smoothie. pistorius coming down the stairs and playing with his dogs in this sprawling backyard.

>> the average price of a home in that development is probably between $400,000 and $700,000.

>> i talked to a real estate agent who said we're going to start bids at $500,000. what do you think?

>> well, why would anyone want to pay a premium for a home where someone was violently killed?

>> you think it'll go for less?

>> yeah, i would assess less than market value.

>> after all, these are the photos the world has seen. blood on the staircase, blood spatter in the bedroom and, of course, inside the bathroom where pistorius fired. not exactly ideal in real estate .

>> make no mistake, the miss pistorius family has money, lots of it. his uncle's massive estate here in pretoria. those are jet skis back there. no now some pr experts wonder if this is a show for sympathy.

>> it's a pr play for sympathy and pull thoughts in his favor. oh, this poor man.

>> next week, prosecutors say they'll rest their case. then it's the defense taking center stage , which may mean pistorius himself on the stand.

>> if he does take the stand, he has to be called first by the defense. that's part of south african law . he could testify as early as the middle of next week.

>> just to give you an idea of how anxious he is to sell the house, listen to this time line . they're taking bids through march 31st , then they're hoping to decide which bid to accept through april 14th . that's three weeks from now. the trial could still be going on. back to you guys.

>> all right. jeff rossen , thank