A classic problem is the estimation of a set of parameters from measurements collected by only a few sensors. The number of sensors is often limited by physical or economical constraints and their placement is of fundamental importance to obtain accurate estimates. Unfortunately, the selection of the optimal sensor locations is intrinsically combinatorial and the available approximation algorithms are not guaranteed to generate good solutions in all cases of interest. We propose FrameSense, a greedy algorithm for the selection of optimal sensor locations. The core cost function of the algorithm is the frame potential, a scalar property of matrices that measures the orthogonality of its rows. Notably, FrameSense is the first algorithm that is near-optimal in terms of mean square error, meaning that its solution is always guaranteed to be close to the optimal one. Moreover, we show with an extensive set of numerical experiments that FrameSense achieves state-of-the-art performance while having the lowest computational cost, when compared to other greedy methods.